Luab:A mountaintop experience-A A +A
Saturday, October 26, 2013
IT took an earthquake to shake us awake. A great number of us, if not all of us, got reminded that we are not in control of our lives.
We may go for the latest trend of medical care like stem cell treatments and unorthodox alternative medicine but in the final analysis, we are not “the masters of our fate nor the captains of our souls,” as one poet tried to tell us.
That earthquake last Oct. 15 made all of us in our subdivision rush out of our houses and condo units to the open areas, in varying stages of dress array. Majority of us prayed aloud as we asked God to protect us.
That great rumble from Mother Nature scared us out of our complacency. In the past, we believed that Cebuanos were a favored lot. We now know that when Mother Nature is hurt, she roars and no one is exempted.
The tremors, the aftershocks that followed, continued for days and they were shocks we never experienced before. Light and water were out for some time, and elevators were closed for safety reasons. Climbing up and down several levels when one owns a condominium unit can be difficult especially for the aged.
Many people were traumatized, including myself. Any slight shaking, be it the sound of a vacuum cleaner or the rolling of one gallon of mineral water, was enough for my ears to perk up. I would stop to listen if a rumble was forthcoming.
It has been quite a while now since Oct. 15 and most of us have done some serious reflections:
1. Life is really the greatest gift from God to us.
2. Natural disasters can strike anytime.
3. There is no time set for one’s death.
4. Wasting one’s time on non-essentials is useless.
Now why do I compare that earthquake experience to a mountaintop experience, which speaks of Christ’s transfiguration?
Remember, Jesus brought Peter, James and John to the top of the mountain where they were privileged, awed and shown Jesus Christ’s transfiguration.
Immediately after that 7.2 magnitude earthquake, I sat down on the grass and felt completely awed, small and humble at the tremendous power that woke all of us up.
True, so many people died, so many places were affected. However, so many others were also touched, were saved and were awakened to the fact that life is terminal any time. So why in the world are we niggardly with remorse, care, with love?
Love is never supposed to be solitary. Love is supposed to be shared. There are so many people who are so afraid of investing in love, so afraid of what people will think! Love has many labels. Romantic love, platonic love, sisterly or brotherly love, a best friend’s love, etc.
However, for love to blossom, for a strong relationship to flourish, sharing partners must nurture this relationship and not label what kind of love each one has for the other.
After the earthquake, I was so blessed to have friends both here in Cebu and outside of Cebu who called to check if I was safe. Long distance calls from former University of the Philippines classmates warmed my heart because I never expected to hear from them.
Close friends in Cebu of course contacted me through my cell phone so I knew who loved me enough to care if I was all right.
Now that the aftershocks are diminishing, I’m accepting at face value my relationships with people and friends whom I have. Even with our families, we have members who have grown callous and cannot give love. So? Now is the time to ask ourselves this question:
“Am I big enough to love someone who cannot give back love?”
My three mentors in Christian meditation, Sr. Sonia Arao of the Cenacle sisters, Fr. Noel Gartlan CsSr and Fr. Martin Tobin CsSr will probably throw that question back at me this way: “Well, are you?”
Actually, it is not a question of being big enough. It really is a question of how rooted you are in Christ. How deeply is the way of life that Christ lived engrained in you? Perhaps it is time for us to retire to our individual mountaintops, to spend moments in silence and to find our answers.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 27, 2013.