Unexpected Sadness…

a gush of tears erupt unexpectedly

as i chance upon your photograph.

years have passed, and yet,

the pain is fresh…

as if it were only yesterday

when i first learned that you were gone.
“missing you” is an understatement:

for what can fill the void

that you’ve created?

what can replace the smiles

that only you can give?

what can take the place

of lifelong friendship

that only we can share?
you’ve brought out

the best in me…

and sometimes the worst(!)

but through it all

i’ve learned:

that sometimes second chances

are not enough;

that distance can make

the heart grow fonder;

that forgiveness may be bestowed

even when it was not sought;

that friendships

can last a lifetime…

that love is always there

just where you left it.
regrets do always come late:

longing for another talk with you;

hoping to hear your voice

one more time;

wishing to see you

in all the places

that hold our memories;

and most of all:

having you hear me say

i loved you so!

 

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Love is Something You Do

Love is something you do:

It can’t be submerged;

It comes out so naturally,

You just get the urge…

 

To help one in need

Or show that you care–

An action or good deed

To prove that love’s there.

 

Love is something you do

Not just what you feel.

It’s more than emotion;

It’s something that’s real:

 

A smile or a touch,

A pleasant “hello”…

A time spent in sharing

Life’s joy or life’s woe.

 

For words can be spoken

And words can be heard,

But actions speak louder

Than any loud word.

 

You’ve got to show love,

Be sure that it’s true…

For Love’s an expression–Image

It’s something you do!

(Written February 1985, EBCS-ZC)

Thy Will, Not Mine(?)

Thy will, oh Lord, not mine…

And yet I relentlessly cling to the past,

As though recalling would make things last.

I can’t let go of what has been:

My heart and mind is chained within.

 

Thy will, oh Lord, not mine…

But I hold fast to standards high

For reasons which I don’t know why–

Perhaps to please the flitting crowd

Or stick to “promises” I’ve vowed.

 

Thy will, oh Lord, not mine…

Still deep inside I nourish dreams.

The future–it is bleak, it seems.

Why can’t I trust the One who knows

My past, my now, all my tomorrows?!

 

(27 January 1987)

First Corinthians Thirteen: A Youth’s Paraphrase of the Love Chapter

(First written in 1979. Revised January 13, 2005)

Even if I could speak in front of a huge crowd (without getting butterflies in my stomach, having a mental block, and knocking my knees together in fright), applying all the principles and methods I’ve learned in Speech Laboratory, or be known in school as the best orator and debater…

…It wouldn’t matter, when I don’t even have the guts and love to witness to my friends, classmates, and teachers.

I’d just be chattering like a parrot, blowing a lot of hot air and making a perfect fool of myself.

And so what if I could understand seemingly meaningless squiggles in my Calculus textbook and can give the correct answer in my Philosophy class when called upon while I was actually preoccupied: day-dreaming, reading a novel, texting my best friend, or writing a love note.

If I could take an exam in Microbiology without studying and get a perfect score…

…And yet I love others as much as I love mathematics (ugh!),

Then I’m no better than an idiot.

What’s the use of treating my barkada at the school canteen,

telling “friends” my secrets at the risk of having them spread,

letting others take advantage of me while I play the martyr…

…If I don’t even take the time to share my love, and even more, God’s love to them,

then all my sacrifice and generosity would have no meaning. I’d be a hero for

nothing.

Since LOVE seems to be so vital, what is it all about anyway?

Love takes a lot of PATIENCE (and when I say “a lot,” I mean a lot!), like a guy who waits what seems to be a hopeless forever for a positive response from the girl he’s pursuing. He doesn’t give up easily—even if he has already sent bouquets of velvet-red roses, boxes of chocolates, and millions of text messages… only to be snubbed at in return.

It means being NICE, or at least polite enough to someone you don’t particularly like—especially if it’s an admirer who’s a pain-in-the-neck.

Love is NOT turning green with JEALOUSY when you see your heartthrob eyeing someone else, or worse, catching your Honey and your best friend flirting with each other. (Some “friend,” huh?)

Love is NOT CONCEITED and will not allow things to go to your head, making you think you can walk around with your nose up in the air if you’re the “Number One” in class, the envy of your peers and the target of several admirers.

Love doesn’t jump to wrong conclusions, hastily believing rumors. No, it gives the person concerned a chance to tell his side of the story. It isn’t being malicious in thinking, nor does it go about gossiping—destroying reputations and indulging in character assassination.

Love is NOT STINGY, but gives without asking or expecting anything in return (“no strings attached”).

Love ACCEPTS others as they are—blunders and all, remembering all the while that you’re far from being perfect yourself. It does NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE of others just because they’re too nice to say “no.”

It is NOT being hyper SENSITIVE when others joke about, point out, or comment on things you’re touchy about: your defects, weaknesses, wrong attitudes or ideas.

It is being able to heartily congratulate a rival who is awarded the honor you’ve sweated out to get…but doesn’t snicker or secretly applaud when the same gets into trouble with the dean.

Love is SWALLOWING your PRIDE and getting a hold of yourself when the one you love is hurting you, and your first impulse is to hit back.

Love means to BELIEVE in the one you love, no matter what he/she says or does that may seem contradictory to the truth. It is giving him/her the benefit of the doubt. It would mean giving a second chance—and a third, a fourth, a fifth, etc.

Love EXPECTS only the BEST of him/her (especially if s/he is the best!).

Love DOESN”T necessarily mean PLEASING EVERBODY, because that’s impossible. You could end up in a mental institution just for attempting that. On the other hand, you shouldn’t please only yourself in making decisions. You’d be crazy to trust your roller-coaster feelings.

Right now things like brains: topping the exams, being candidate for summa cum laude; body: maintaining a pleasing figure; beauty: being attractive inside and outside—may seem important…at least to gain popularity and attention. But sooner or later, even these will lose their meaning. You might think you know a lot (maybe even too much for your own good), but it’s never enough. You may have everything going for you and have more than you need or deserve—but still you’ll be looking for something else.

One of these days (soon, we hope) when Jesus comes back, everything that seemed to make your world turn would be considered trivial—compared to what He has to offer. Then, you wouldn’t be contented with anything less.

You might remember when you were still a young child…you always thought about “what you’re going to be when you grow up,” wishing you were old enough to wear high-heeled shoes and make-up [for guys: shave and drive a car] and date. You thought it was a big deal then. But now you even take these for granted. You also used to think that maybe the “birds and the bees” was some kind of game (like the “slides and ladders”), and you couldn’t quite understand why you weren’t allowed to play it. As you look back, you just laugh at yourself for being so silly and naïve.

Your spiritual vision as of now isn’t 20-20. In fact, it’s rather blurred. You have a hard time making out the images in front of you. The form is there, but the details are out of focus. There are still so many questions you’d like to ask. But then, it won’t be long until Jesus will come into full view with all His splendor and glory. Then you won’t be thinking of your inquiries anymore—but be filled with awe and adoration.

A lot of things in life come and go. Some you hold onto too tightly, thinking they might be important. Others you let go, taking them for granted. There will be things that mean more and those that won’t even matter. True, you may acquire what the world says really counts; what it takes to survive and make it in this planet. But again, take LOVE out of it all and you’ve got nothing.

Reflections of a PW (Pastor’s Wife)

I didn’t marry a DOCTOR,

but just the same

my husband’s on call

24 hours a day…

sometimes more:

He visits the sick ones

whose lives are filled

with misery.

He cares for the wounded

whose hearts have been broken.

To those in despair,

he brings healing words

taken from Him…

the Great Physician.

<>< <>< <><

I didn’t marry a SOLDIER

but my husband’s more than one.

His never-ending “tour of duty”

comprises the world:

As a front-liner, he battles the darkness

within and without

with the sword of the Spirit

and the shield of Faith.

He may get battle-fatigued at times,

but he takes his orders from

and pledges loyalty to

the Commander-in-Chief.

<>< <>< <><

I didn’t marry a FARMER

but guess what he does?

He patiently tills hardened hearts

with God’s love:

Planting the seed

that comes from above,

he waters and tends them

until harvest time

when just as expected,

the person bears fruit.

He gets his master plan from

the Sower, the Creator

<>< <>< <><

I didn’t marry a BUSINESSMAN,

but wouldn’t you know,

he’s one shrewd fellow

with investments in mind:

Investing in people for eternity,

he bargains for souls

and handles some deals.

He must manage well

For he’s in the King’s Business.

[written circa late ’90s]

I Love You…Do You Love Me?

I love you…
‘Though you are hard to reach–
So cold and unfeeling,
Yet I love you…Do you love me?
Even when you take me for granted–
You don’t pay attention or talk to me
I still love you…Do you love me?

You laugh at me; make fun of me.
You’re even ashamed of me sometimes
But somehow I love you…Do you love me?
When you were unfaithful
And betrayed my trust in you,
I took you back each time
Because I love you…Do you love me?

You made me cry;
You broke my heart
You brought me pain and sorrow.
I went through everything to prove
I love you…Do you love me?

* Although this poem could be interpreted as a person’s love for another, it is an expression of Jesus Christ’s love for us. Read it again, and this time, imagine Jesus saying this to you.

I am…I write!

I am…therefore, I write.

I am…a reader, word collector

…creative, curious

writing Extreme Disciplines 2

…a wanderer, a free spirit

…cluttered in an organized sort of way

…imaginative, expressive

…artistic, poetic

…unconventional, radical

Therefore, I write.

I write, therefore, I am.

I write…stories, poems, reflections, articles

…to release pent-up emotions

…to express my inner feelings

…to reach out to others

…to instruct; to exhort

Therefore, I am.

(Nov04)