Ateneo De Naga high school 1980

Those who do not remember history are bound to live through it again.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Prayers Down the Road.

Recently, I decided to walk around the neighborhood everyday from 6:30pm-7:30pm just to settle down my tired nerves after spending a long day at the office. During weekends, I use the same routine just to ease myself before eating dinner.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by friendly next door neighbors whom my family has developed a close relationship with. Though we love our immediate neighbors, the residents on other blocks remain strangers to all of us. It is during my two mile walks around our neighborhood that I get a brief glimpse of the lives of the other people who are still strangers to me. I would see some of them happy and looking forward to enjoying dinner. There would also be ones that exhibit gloom and sadness as they prepare for dinner. I have seen fathers sitting on stools or chairs inside their garages with their heads bowed down staring on the ground contemplating a solution to their painful predicament. I would always keep it a point to look straight ahead to respect the privacy of the people who are hurting and does not want to be bothered or noticed.

During my walks, questions would post in my mind asking me things like, “Are their problems worse than mine? Am I capable of assisting them solve or relieve some, if not all, their problems? “Did they just lose their jobs? Are their problems about their health, family or finances?” “Have they asked the Lord for help?”

Last night during my daily walk, I saw the wife of my Filipino neighbor who lives three blocks away from my house. She was watering her plants and I stopped to talk to her. She is now about 65 years old. During our brief conversation, she told me that her prodigal son has returned to live with them again. Her son has given her family so much grief starting from his teenage years. The son had been sent to jail a few times because he mingled with the wrong crowd. He got into drugs and had strings of failed relationships and a broken marriage. When he came home recently, he sadly told his mother that he has a heart ailment. Since the son did not have any health insurance, the mother patiently endure the lengthy processing of obtaining health coverage for her son through a government sponsored health program.

The son was eventually diagnosed by a heart specialist and the result of his exam was not good. Due to the severity of his heart condition, the son was given only a year to live by his doctors. Though the news was devastating to the family, the mother said that she is relieved that her prodigal son finally came home and is spending his remaining months with the only people in the world that loves him. She told me, “I am fortunate that God gave me back my son and I am going to celebrate his life until God takes him to His fold”.

My daily walks had turned from a simple way of unwinding my tired nerves into an opportunity to pray for strangers that reside down the road. Most of the time I do not have the means nor the wisdom to relieve my neighbors with their misfortunes. The only thing I have is abundance of prayer where I ask God to bless the strangers with rest from the burden of their trial. Though relief might not come immediately, I trust God that he is in control of the whole situation and is drawing the stranger to the realization that he/she needs a Savior.

Walking through life with Prayer.


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