As I have loved you, so you must love one another”
There’s just too much hate in the world. Two Sundays ago, the message in service was to “love one another”. I guess it’s easier said than done, especially now, when hate is the most convenient emotion you can bring out. The pastor said, as human beings, our normal and automatic response to negative stimuli could either be anger, annoyance, disappointment and so forth. But God calls us all to be calm, understanding and forgiving…
Well, I understand the animosity really. As a human being I share the same irritable stance–hurt me and I’ll fight back–it’s in our nature to defend ourselves… our beliefs. To make a strong stand on things that matter the most.
But what really matters the most? Are we sure we’re pouring our energy on the right things? I mean, I guess the US Presidency matters, or even the Philippine Presidency, however minute we are in the world, but aren’t leaders appointed by the Lord? If so, then we should trust that he’s got our back, right? You know, even though I strongly campaigned for Duterte in May, I prayed to God and said, “Lord, I’m voting Duterte. I am excited about what he can do, but I am anxious. I’m just one vote. I’m voting Duterte and I know you already have a winner, no matter whose name I shade. I leave it to you”.
There are many things in this world that I have no control of–the elections is one, the Marcos burial is another. Once I was asked how I could be neutral about it and I see people criticizing neutrality, like it is a sin… I don’t know, perhaps a weakness? But what if I have no true strong emotion about either side? What if I tell you I can sympathize with my mother who is PRO and my sisters who are ANTI–will you really fault me for it? Does that mean I don’t understand history and have no regard for pivotal events that shaped our country?
There’s too much hate… there’s too many broken relationships over issues we can’t control. In life, I believe we take a single part, and we ought to let the pieces fall as they should. Earlier I asked whether we’re pouring our energy on the right things. I mean, if God commands us to love one another, what are we doing? Are we showing enough love amidst all the hate? In this world, so many other things need our attention…
Of Things That Matter
I can think of so many things that matter. These children matter. These Mangyan children live in forgotten areas of the country and their lives matter.
During my recent mission trip I spoke with a teach whose passion for the tribe children is truly admirable. There are teachers who trek 1-3 hours through muddy trails to climb mountains and reach the Mangyans. We complain so much of petty things, unaware of the heaviness that our brothers carry. Her school, brand new, was built in 2015. Before that, she taught the children in huts that didn’t offer much shelter and protection from rain and strong winds. In 2013, the town finally got electricity, so just imagine their lives before that. Living in darkness, they’re often called to insurgency by their unfriendly communist neighbors.
The pastor speaking that Sunday said, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). It is only when you experience God’s love that you will feel truly learn to embrace the true meaning of “love one another”. In my team, there is a doctor there whose compassion for others is beyond compare. I have never seen anyone as devoted, as selfless and as God-filled as her. She inspires me to be the kind of servant that she is. In the field I meet different people who have long left their comfort zones to do the work of the Lord—because other lives matter. When you look at them, you forget that there is too much hate in the world.
The Mangyans, they do not complain. They are kind, they are meek and they hardly ask for anything at all. On the third site we visited this month, the children presented bundles of “pako” (an edible fern) and coconuts. We had the pako for lunch that day and devoured fresh coconut juice and meat. They do not have much but their offerings are genuine. THESE LIVES MATTER. I do not mean to belittle other issues, but I’m urging you, do not forget about our “katubo” (tribe). They are scattered all over the country, tucked away in corners, often forgotten. They are the Mangyans, the Lumads, the Igorots, the Tagbanwa people and so much more…
I will be honest, I was oblivious of their presence before. I wasn’t unaware, but I was just too busy with other things, you know? But I thank the Lord for opening my eyes and every day, I thank the Lord for giving me the heart to serve.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another.”
I am a dentist and in between patients I am a writer. I have been a blogger since 2004 and writing is something that is most natural to me, like breathing air... words are my sustenance and this blog, is my breathing space.
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