I felt a bit teary eyed when I saw our former Senior Pastor, Alex Aronis and his wife Carol along with Pastor Steve. They don’t know me personally. I’ve only watched them from a distance. To them, I am just another face in the crowd. But to me, these are my real-life heroes. They may not know it but next to my parents, they were my champions of faith for many years. The Lord used them mightily in my life when I was searching and stuggling. Through their genuine, humble, and admittedly imperfect hearts, I was able to catch a glimpse of what this whole Christianity deal was about. And whenever I would fall under the spell of the world, just when I thought I was convinced that this whole faith thing was a waste of my time…their sermons would tug me in the right places and I would begin a dialogue with God all over again. Sometimes that’s all you need. A little nudge towards the right direction.
As a teen and up until my 20s, my parents had to literally drag me to church every Sunday. But somehow in the thick of things, in between obligation and pakikisama—a little part of me actually enjoyed attending church, I was just too cool to admit it back then. Why did I have to make things so complicated?! Hehehe! Imagine all the heartache I would’ve saved myself from if I just kept things simple from day one?! Oh, teenagers!!
Just thinking about those many nights I’ve caused my parents to pray even harder for me at night, the many times I’ve hurt them because of brash decisions brought about by my youth, my lack of understanding and inexperience in life..makes me feel ashamed. Hay. And not only did I hurt my parents, I hurt God too. And that’s what makes me feel so horrible. Yet, even if I was unfaithful to HIM, he always remained true and steadfast with his love for me. Kakaiba talaga. I was reminded of the song by Hillsong “Stay and Wait”, “Who loved me through my rebel way, who chose to carry all my shame, who breathes in me with endless life…The king of glory Jesus Christ”.
I don’t deserve this life but yet here I am because God loved me. And also because the people who love God chose to show love to me too. So today, I thought of that. How many people have I missed out on? How many beautiful souls have I neglected? I mean come on, you don’t have to go hard sell and preachy. Nobody wants that. What I’m talking about is a genuine, honest, I-don’t-care-if-you-reject-me-I’m-still-gonna-make-you-feel-loved-today-and-that’s-final kind of approach that would point others to God. But where do you start right? The goal is for God’s love to shine so bright that when you encounter others, they won’t even see you—it’ll just be about HIM, all about HIM. Shucks. That seems like an impossible feat and would require a LOT of humility and grace! But hey, it won’t hurt to try right? Baby steps, everyday.