It was Sunday morning and I’ve felt refreshed after getting an eight hour sleep. I’ve taken a bath and had my share of the household work and off to get my laptop at my apartment. I’m intending to make a trip to salon that day aside from making a first unique experience of watching a film for free!
Back a few days ago, I’ve already seen the advertisement of Asian Fim Fest at Shangri-la Mall and since I’ve just came from Vietnam-there is a part of me that wants to explore this country even at a glimpse of a film.
Luckily, Nostalgia for Countryland (Thong nho dong que) directed by Nhat Minh Dang, a Vietnam entry is showing that day and made my way to the line waiting for free tickets. I’ve made a few friends at the line and while waiting for our entrance, I’ve met Mark.
Mark is 23 years old (just like my youngest brother) as he shared to me is a happy-go-lucky type and while we are sharing our own backgrounds- we then discussed my involvement in a Christian community as a single young professional. Let me share you the exchange of conversations:
Mark: You are already 27 years old, of marrying age, why are you still single? Do you have boyfriend right now? You look happy and confident.
Me: (I would like to say thank you, but I just smiled.) I have no boyfriend right now. I’m still single yes and if I am called to marriage why not, if not then so it is.
Mark: (quite surprised!) Wow, you are not desperate to get married that’s different. What keeps you busy these days?
Me: (thinking of what to share to him, decided to share him, maybe with the grace of the Holy Spirit, this…) I am involved in a Christian community for single young professionals called Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon Makati branch for three years now, serving brothers and sisters while having a close relationship with our Creator.
Mark: (surprised again!) Really?! Is there such a Christian community for the single young professionals? The name sure is serious; for sure it’s not easy to invite your boyfriend there. How does it help? I mean, with your state of life (this last part I’m not sure because my reply is…)
Me: Yes! It sure sounds serious because while being involved in the community- it makes you realize that it is possible to have a direct relationship and knowing the Lord and at the same time knowing yourself more if you are into marriage, religious or single-blessedness.
We then exchange our numbers and Facebook addresses after that. Inside of me, I’ve felt excited of what I am doing during that time, and at the same time nervous of who is this guy I’m exchanging personal info with, but the topmost of it is the confidence to share my life that has been faithfully touched by the Lord’s mercy and love and most of all kagandahang-loob.
At the start of year, I know the Lord has called me to a very different mission this year, is it this? To meet different person, stranger perhaps in order to share to them His grace. At this point of time, you know I get excited or kinikilig every time I walk out of the house, who am I meeting next? To whom will I share His goodness, His faithfulness, His tenderness?
This is very opposite of what I’ve experienced at the start of the week where I am asking Him, why He called me to be a member of the Christian community? I too, was surprised to be asking this question after I already experienced a lot of blessings from Him. You know where the question came from? Even us members of the community still experiences despair and tears; although we are not showing it. One of such instances during that week is when I invited a friend to our community but did not come; another one is a friend who testified to me how the Lord granted her wishes of going to Europe but in a different way not as to her plans. You know these circumstances got me into thinking of- if the Lord blesses those who are also outside of the community, then why am I here?
The Friday night before, thanks to Lord’s grand design for me to be there in our prayer meeting venue the speaker is Nerry Gool and the talk is entitled Faith, Faithfulness and Fruitfulness. From the talk, she said- ‘Our entire lifetime is a moment by moment invitation to obey God that involves our whole beings.’ I would say tama! korek! isang malaking check! When she displayed the slide of her presentation on developing faithfulness she enumerated the following:
1) Personal Time of Prayer
2) Love for the Word of God
3) Involvement in Service
4) Clouds of Witnesses
6) Making Holy or Loving Choices Even When Difficult
I highlighted the fourth reason-clouds of witnesses you know why? It is because, yes! It is somehow what made me stay and somehow transformed me to what I become today. Through the encouragement of brothers and sisters in the community and the example they led, made me ask the Lord for desires that I do not also know before I have in myself. That somehow, lifted me up from low self-esteem I am experiencing that time!
Come Saturday after that, we are asked together with our brothers and sisters in ALNP Makati and Manila to serve in the wedding committee of my sister and brother in the community Ren and Kath and I am also quite surprised by my reaction to what Kath said during her thanksgiving speech during the wedding party. She said, ‘Salamat po sa inyong lahat na dumalo ngayong araw na ito, hindi na po ako single’. Yes, we all laughed at her remark, but knowing myself- my initial reaction would then have been agitated or stirred but thanks to Him I am not even disturbed?! I too, was amazed at how the Lord has transformed me and is still transforming me.
Such instance is more evidenced during the time Mark (of Shang Cineplex) is asking me about my state of life. For sure, I still desire to have my own family in the future but who can tell? Even me, myself is still rediscovering parts of me that I have not known before.
The gospel reading today is very appropriate from the letter of Paul in Acts 20:24
‘Ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God’s grace’
All this time that I am writing this post, I am watching the first speech of our Chief Justice Renato Corona (the 3rd highest government post) in our country in his own trial before the Senate acting as an Impeachment Court.
This recalls me to the meaning of witness- one who is called to testify to say only the truth and nothing but the truth. And this reassures me that I am called to witness- truth of God’s grace in my life!