Thursday, August 23, 2007

"nads, bro. frank to. Pde ka ba magbigay ng talk sa crossroads dito sa campus namin"
"sure bro." I replied

Now, there are several reasons why i accepted the invitation. For one thing, it's a retreat, I love retreats, i love experiences of God like that. Second, able naman ako, i love giving presentations. Third, he's francis iturralde..the name, the man, the..owryt, you probably got the point already. I was informed that there's going to be 2 batches in that retreat, bele dalawang course na sabay namin bibigyan. Very well, ayos lang siguro yon. Nagserve ako sa
music aside from giving 2 of the 4 modules. I also was asked to handle a discussion group
after each presentation.

The boys in my group, mga 4 sila, were all good boys. Maloko nga lang katulad ko. Freshmen sila kaya siguro ganun, hyper. Sinabi ko din sa kanila yon na tingin ko mababait naman silang mga bata. Okay na sana pero nagcomment yung isa "kasi kuya wala pa yung master namin dito. yun malamang kelangan ng walong retreat ng taong yon." at sumang-ayon naman yung tatlo pang iba. Sabi ko, "well, darating ba sya?" Di daw nila alam. Mga lunch time na yun banda. We're eating and then mula sa pinto ng dining area naaninagan ko may parating na estudyante.
"kuya," sabi nung isa sa akin. "ayan na sya, ihanda nyo na yung holy water." The moment na nakita ko yung bata, napatanong ako. "estudyante pa ba yan?" luckily sa isip ko lang sinabi yon. He was older than me, taller than me, meaner looking than...not me, than romy diaz. And he's got a tatoo of his name written vertically down his upper arm. Andami kong reaksyon nung time na yon:

1. Parang nakita ko na ang mukha nito sa TV, sa TV patrol.
2. Kahawig nya yung nasa carthographic sketch sa presinto sa min.

3. May tatoo sya ng pangalan nya. Ah matanda na nga. Nakakalimutan na nya siguro at kelangan nya ng notes.

Call it human nature or prejudism pero the moment I saw him alam ko sarado ang puso ng taong ito. Probably he's running his own life his own way for too long. Maybe he never
encountered God in a pleasant way. Maybe he won't even listen to me later on as I give the presentation on Choices of the Heart. He was seated front and center during the sessions, but his attention was far away in another galaxy. I was distracted. I know how special this is which I am offering and so it breaks my heart when they take light of it. He's just one among the 50 or more other participants but i can't ignore the attitude he gives at that time. Lucky me, for no particular reason I asked brothers and sisters to intercede for me. It's not the first time that I'll give a talk but I sensed stronglt that I needed prayers, and now I know what it
was for. I gained confidence on that thought alone and went on with my talk. He's most of the time bowing down his head...maybe he's nodding in agreement to what i said, maybe he's drowsy, or maybe guilty...i didn't know until we went on a discussion group. I found out through his sharing that he had a hard time relating to God because of the life he has been brought up into. Family and personal problems surround him daily that at some point he even denied God's existence. Ngai. Naisip ko dapat ang humahandle ng ganitong mga tao eh yung mga katulad nina bro. frank, jim or raoul at hindi ako. Ano ba naman ang payo ko na susundin nitong tipong kuya ko na. Mahirap pero sinubukan ko syang kwentuhan. Sya na ang bahala
kung makikinig sya o hinde. I told him my life, what I know about God, who God is to me and how God loves him despite all he's been through. "Even if you don't believe in God and don't acknowledge Jesus Christ died for your sins, that does not change what He is and what He did for you." And then the bell rang to start the next session.
I remember what bro. frank had always told these guys: the success of a recollection depends on how you treat it. It is what you make it. you give it 10%, you receive 10%. If you give it all, you will receive fully also. Which only clears that God's unlimited power to work in our life is so limited by our response. I didn't really know if he will even remember anything we've said thru the presentations nor can i tell what's in his heart all that time. But it gives me peace of mind and heart to know that God has really given us the freedom to make choices
for ourselves because of His great love for us. But in every choice that we make He always presents Himself and offers something far better than the options we have. To end this story, I really cannot force anyone to believe that this is the right path where they should go and I'm doomed to fail if I tried to please everybody too coz I really can't. But i was reminded that it is not really myself that I give a talk about rather it is God and who He is.

nads on 10:52 AM