Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday morning

It's a crisp Saturday morning. My roommate, Monchi, has left earlier for yet another frat-organized activity; this man is restless and is hardly here on weekends. After checking my email and doing stuff for school, I feel hungry. I go out and feel the morning sun burn.

As I walk along the streets on slippers, I hum a tune. The song is O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go, an old hymn I like to be sung when I die. It's a great feeling, anonymity, the time you can do what you want in public without anyone—usually a classmate going through the same daily routine—recognizing you.

So I pop into the nearest Mini Stop convenience store on Bocobo Street and buy myself lasagna and a tetrapack of Zest-O. I'm sitting on a corner, enjoying that moment of me-time, mindlessly highlighting my lecture notes on pediatric rheumatic disease I brought with me when a boy, five or six years old, with crumpled clothes and unkempt hair sits beside me. His nose and face are marked by dried sipon which looks a lot like crust on a wound.

"Oh, hello there," I say.

My impression is that he's probably a street kid who likes barging in stores to beg for food.

"Do you want my juice?" I give him my Zest-O.

He smiles, sips the drink, and begins to smell me. He leans forward and tries to smell my arm and my clothes, and as he does so, he begins to look like the labandera in those Comfort fabric conditioner commercials.

I feel awkward, of course. What will I do with this kid?

Right there and then I remember this missionary, Doug Nichols, who visited my church once. He told a story of how, in a squatter area in Manila, a poor boy came to him. He hugged the kid. Jesus Christ would have done that. That story made me teary.

At some point I want to do that, too, to show the boy that this world isn't as cruel as the streets he lives in, but I'm too scared, and, I'm ashamed to admit this, a little repelled. So I wait for the waitress (who's really fond of this boy, having seen him perhaps on many occasions) to lead him out of the store.

And as I see him out into the streets again, gladly walking barefoot and on his own, I feel bad—terribly bad. I could've done so much more. Talk to him. Pat his back. Tell him about Jesus. I had a golden opportunity that I let go. I pause and close my eyes in shame.

O, that God would make my heart to be like Jesus, that I would be more like Him—loving unconditionally during the hardest of times.

Someday, Lord. Someday.



Anonymous maya said...

kuya, have you heard Chris Rice's version of O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go?

just stopping by. Godbless.

Tue Aug 24, 12:07:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

Hi, Maya. So nice of you to drop by. I haven't, but I'll be checking that out.

Wed Aug 25, 06:17:00 AM GMT+8  

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