This was the statement of a 12-year old boy whose father died last January.  I did not know his Dad and his Mom very well because I only met them once at a Couples’ Dinner  hosted by a local church.

This pastor and his wife were the hosts for the whole evening and they entertained the couples by singing some very romantic Filipino love songs.

When I visited our congregation in Antipolo last sunday, I was informed that this pastor had passed recently.

At the funeral, his eldest child, uttered the statement that I quoted above. “Please pray for me – so that I can be a pastor someday like my dad…”

I drove home thinking about that grieving family.  They lost their father at a very young age.  And the grieving wife will still go through the grief work in the coming months.

Everything after his death will be processed primitively according to this:

1. When he was still alive

2. After his death.

Please pray for this very young family who just lost a husband, a father and a pastor.

May God tenderly wrap them in His embrace when the tears come and the sadness surround them.

Thank you Lord for the beautiful life and what this pastor shared with the flock.  Please take care of his loved ones.  They are very special in your sight. She is now a widow and the children are now father-less.

Not even death could separate us from your love.

Please surround them with your loving grace.

I surrender them in your hands, where they are most loved and most taken care of.

Amen

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I was finishing the retreat in Iloilo when I received a series of SMS from Manila concerning a  domestic problem in oneof the families back  home.

It was a case of a young 16 year old being thrown out of the house after a conflict with his grandfather.

As the people were telling me their goodbyes and appreciation for the just concluded retreat, i was on the phone trying to calm this 16 year old boy as he cried while trying to explain to me the incident.

But the family wounds go deep. Much deeper than what I could write here on this blog. He almost retaliated and boxed his grandfather when his grandfather choked him on the neck after some argument over some clothes that were left inside the bathroom.

24 hours later, I was talking to another family who was gracious enough to accommodate this young man’s need for housing.   I could not believe that it came down to this:  this young man who is basically an orphan now, was kicked out of the house mercilessly by his grandfather.

It stung deep when I realized that non-family members could be more gracious, merciful and forgiving sometimes than those who share their same blood in the lineage system.

This young man was already exasperated.  Sent a text message to his mom overseas and told her that he is leaving the house because he could no longer stand it anymore.

The wounds have gone too deep.

I do not know how anyone could start repairing the breach that had taken place, especially when violence has been involved.

But for now, at least this young man, has a place to sleep.  Behind a small vulcanizing shop, he shares a room with a highschool friend.  He may be unloved and orphaned right now – but he is not alone as he has found refuge in the home of some gracious samaritans.

Thank you for these people who did not even ask for the financial arrangement when they took in this young man.

I could hear Jesus telling them…”if you have done it for the least of them… you have done it for me..”

Lord God, be with that young man and encourage him that life does get better. Do not allow him to wallow in self-pity but in your grace, make something out of himself.  Tell him Lord that his past do not necessarily determine his destiny.

Thank you for taking care of him Lord.

Last saturday I attended a funeral for a member who died recently. It was a simple funeral conducted by Ptr Andrew Teng. No fanfares – just the families, relatives and church members who shared in the grief experienced by a mother of a young daughter.

The sadness of the whole thing affected me. Funerals have their way of reminding us that we will really leave everything behind. After the final viewing, the harsh reality of the finality of the goodbyes were setting in. “I love you Papa….” were the muffled voices that could be heard amidst the tears that flowed that hot saturday afternoon. About 200 ft away from us, another funeral was in progress… the combined wailing of women from two funeral ceremonies could really break one’s heart.

The deceased left a young wife with a young daughter who was inconsolable at the loss of her Papa.

It was a heartbreaking picture and I could not help but feel so broken inside.

We are just pilgrims here. We are not meant to stay here forever. Our physical bodies are not meant to endure for eternity.

Father God, reach out to the bereaved mother and daughter at this time. Open the floodgates of your heavenly merciful throne and embrace them as a loving Father would. Widow and fatherless – please take care of them. In their most difficult moments, allow them to see that they are not alone. In the darkest hours of their bereavement, comfort them as their hearts will be broken by the memories of their loved one. Thank you that in you Jesus, all things will be reconciled. The dead will rise. The children and mothers will no longer cry. And we will rise up to be with you for eternity.

In your precious name,

AMEN