This was a story that I originally wrote around 2 years ago, recently something extraordinary happened to my life that allowed me to remember this incident and reminded me of God\’s purifying love.
It was a new day! We had just arrived in the Philippines, my home country, from abroad for college, so we needed to do a little shopping. My mother and I bought vegetables from the Palengke (Filipino Market) and she taught me how to bargain with people. And I needed to learn how to bargain because back in Abu Dhabi all I had to say was \”Last price, and good price,\” but here in the Philippines you have to talk and talk and talk and talk until you have lowered the price enough for your preference. We went around the market and I just enjoyed the view.
I saw live crabs, and I was kinda jumpy about that. I had to carry almost 20-25 kilos of market food around, as my mother bought these countless vegetables from the stalls, she had a good time telling me while walking that she was going to teach me to eat vegetables. Please do take note — I did not eat vegetables. As a matter of fact I hated those things because of their taste. I was not able to appreciate their nutritious value whatsoever. Potatoes (french fries) and tomatoes (ketchup) were about it. So while she was threatening to make me eat my veggies, I was telling myself, \”Good luck Mom, I may eat some while you\’re here, but the moment that you go back to Abu Dhabi…hello fried chicken.\”
The next day I woke up with a back ache, and considered it lucky. My mother was cooking Sitaw (string beans) and Kangkong (water spinach mixed with soy sauce) to teach me healthy living. I\’ve escaped! I\’m sick in bed! Or so I thought. She made me them on the grounds that I hadnt\’ eaten anything for the whole day. So I ate, picking a few chunks of pork cooked with it. I managed to stall long enough for my mother to acquiesce and also cook me a hotdog.
The next day, I ate again before we left for the supermarket, and yes I ate again the Kangkong and Sitaw. Mothers! However the moment we stepped into the market, my stomach started revolting. As in revolting badly. It the roar of a tiger mixed with crying hayeenas on a hot winter\’s day and the spin of, like, the 9 of a 7-cycled washing machine. I tried to keep it in, but it grew bad by the minute. Until — well, I was able to rush inside the comfort room. No sooner did I emerge, than I rushed back in. The roar and the spin of Sitaw and Kangkong came in waves.
And it hit me. Something caused this! The Sitaw and Kangkong! I knew it! Vegetables are bad! It took me a long time to get out of the bathroom. When I complained to my mom, she had the answer, \”The vegetables were just cleaning your stomach, and it had to adjust.\”
Nonetheless, I made a pact with the universe to never eat vegetables again. Ever.
Good things, when kept away from people for a long time do not make those thing bad for them, it just makes them alien because people learn to live without them. The same goes for living without God. The longer we live in darkness and in sin, the more we think the good things will hurt us, but it doesn\’t mean these \”good things\” are already bad for us, but rather since they are incompatible with the darkness and sin that we are accustomed to, they seem like a purifying fire that will burn us up, when all it will really do is burn away the recesses of sin that are actually hurting us.
That\’s why when people want to change for the bad it\’s easy, but when people change for the better it\’s harder. Their system, once used to the easy and good life that seems awesome at first, over time reveals the excesses that ruin their system and confuses their body. When you live in darkness, good looks bad and bad looks good, but, hey, it\’s darkness.
Maybe the adjustment to the good is difficult or even painful at first, but it is cleansing, a cleansing that is necessarily for health and well-being. The purifying love that is shared with us by Christ through the Holy Spirit is a cleansing power that hurts only for a little while. In the end, rather than causing us purifying pains, once our hearts are free from the stains of sin, God\’s Grace is a source of relief, satisfaction and peace.
Of course I have broken that pact about not eating vegetables too. Thanks Mom.
©David Quiambao. All Rights Reserved.