When Abram informed me about Alome’s passing, I felt sad for a moment then realized the goodness of God in his life. Then I quickly become worried for his family. I know how precious Alome is and how much they love him. Alome is a very special man. He has a critical heart condition. It may have deprived him of all physical and strenuous activities yet his family’s pure love and genuine affection strengthened him emotionally. People may treat him physically weak but when in need of courage and strength, they can easily withdraw it from him. He’s man of few words yet deep and mysterious. He jokes around and knows how to have fun.
I went to the wake on the third night. People are watching a video as I enter the room. Abram opened the door and welcomed me. Then I saw Nanay Annie. She smiled at me. I hugged her tight. She doesn’t look sad at all but as I look into her eyes, I felt his love for her son. Then I scanned the room to look for Tatay Toti. He’s at the back. I grabbed his hand and tapped it in my forehead. His warm smile and cheerful eyes stopped my tearful eyes. He offered me a seat then stood up and went in front to facilitate the program.
Tatay voluntarily volunteered few pastors to speak and share something. Upon hearing them speak, I was moved. There’s a pattern in the messages given. Tatay and all those pastors expressed concern about the living and breathing people who doesn’t know Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The wake open an opportunity to share Christ’s love. And Tatay grabbed that opportunity. If I am not a Christian, I would say that this was all set-up. They were doing it all wrong. We came here to talk about Alome and not talk about us. We came to give respect to the dead and his family and not answer some scary questions like “are we ready if something bad happened to us that night?” But Tatay doesn’t seem to care what they think about. He cares more for their life and he’ll not allow feelings cut him off. Along with all the pastors who stood and spoke boldly about the importance of having a relationship with Christ, Tatay is not ashamed of the gospel. He opened the floor for the gospel. He brought back the glory to Where it is due.
And then the unthinkable happened. My devotion earlier flashed in my mind. And then my heart felt heavy. It felt like I need to stand up in front and share it. Honestly, I don’t feel like sharing anything. But if you’ve felt God is leading you to do something bold for Him, there’s nothing much you can do. You can argue all you want but at the end, it is not about you. This time, Tatay asked real volunteers. I grabbed the Mic and shared:
Philippians 3:20-21, NIV
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
I just shared what God emphasized this morning: He has power that enables Him to bring everything under His control. He reminded me that as I submit to Him, He is in control of my life and He brings transformation. Your situation may seem hopeless, disoriented and out of control. But God is more than able to bring everything in control. The question is, do you trust Him? As I look at this wake, I was again reminded how God is in control of Alome’s family and how He can transform everybody else as they choose to submit to Him. Tatay and his family trust God. They maybe downcasted and in deep sorrow now but they are secured of God’s unfailing love. They are all the more joyful that Alome is now in heaven and met his Lord and Saviour. And all they want is to share Christ’s love to others.
The wake awakened our soul and forced us to ask a tough life question. One pastor put it this way: “Si Alome ngayon. Mamaya, ikaw. Handa ka ba?” It may be a question we don’t want to answer. It touches the deepest fears and doubt some people has. But in one way or another, we’ll all encounter that question. It may also come in many forms. But you will realize that if something doesn’t matter when you die tonight, it doesn’t matter at all. I believe we have to do more of things that lasts not only a lifetime but in eternity. Having a personal relationship with God is one of them. And that is what Tatay is challenging people that night. But at the end of the day, it is a personal decision and a choice each person has to make. I am sure Tatay is just glad to be used by God as an instrument to share the Gospel. In one way or another, Christ is preached and that matters.
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