Miracle Sent: A Sleeping Child (Memoir)

This memoir is a piece I wrote for a writing contest I joined last September 2021 held by Scribblory. The theme was: “Anyone can write: Celebrating Life and Memoirs.” I didn’t make it to top 10 but being able to go through this memory again through writing was a great reward in itself. Dear reader, consider this memoir as a small gift to you. Enjoy!

“Oh Lord, please send me a miracle.”

When the lights were being turned off in the office, I took it as a sign to pack up and go home. With deep sigh, I straightened my formal office attire and prepared to leave the comforts of my desk. I was fresh out of college then, but you could see stress eating away at my youth. 

My stomach grumbled.

If a growling stomach is a miracle in disguise, I wished God could’ve picked a better timing. Payday was still a few days away and my wallet was filling up with dust. Regret overcame me as everything I bought outside my budget danced around my brain. I really shouldn’t have taken the cab that day.  

I was looking forward to going home and sleeping but the roads had a different plan. The city of Makati glittered red and white with cars creating a perfect gridlock. “Lord, send a miracle now please!” I shouted in my head – maybe I wasn’t loud enough the first time. I was tired and the buses wouldn’t pick me up. I was beginning to miss the cool office climate. 

“Lord, send me a miracle!”

It didn’t look like the roads would clear so I decided to do what was unthinkable. Walk.

My apartment was only three kilometers away, and it’s better to move than be stuck. I walked because no amount of complaining would get me anywhere. I walked because I knew that miracles don’t just happen, they are made. I walked because I decided to be my own miracle.

But first things first! A miracle worker needs to eat.

The journey home was a real test. Picture an exhausted, hungry, and broke gentleman passing by his favorite restaurants. I had to fight the impulse of spending too much money for food if I want to survive the next few days. 

Feeling hot, I took a detour in the supermarket. As I cooled down, my eyes ravenously feasted on their selections. They had grilled pork belly, fried chicken, barbecue, cold cuts, noodles, dumplings, and a variety of other dishes. I was salivating like a fountain. My heart skipped a beat when I saw a miraculous sign.

END OF DAY SALE 50% OFF: Whole Honey-Glazed Roasted Chicken

“Dear God! Thank you for the miracle!”

Little random surprises like these makes life worth living. The leftovers will last me until the next payday. It was closing time, so I had the chicken chopped and asked rice to go with it. Lining up at the register, I daydreamed taking a bite of the roast, tasting the honey glaze, and singing alleluia as I chewed. I couldn’t wait to get home!

With a spring in my step and a bag of delicious chicken on hand, I was prepared to face the old overpass.

The old overpass wasn’t scary, it’s well-lit and people use it daily. I only had a traumatic experience of being chased by a homeless child with a stick from one end to the other. It’s the shortest going to my apartment but because of that ordeal I always took the long way around. But not tonight.

“Lord, please not tonight! Not tonight!” I prayed under my breath, closely clutching the bag of chicken ready to make a run for it.

Many people were using the overpass that night. I noticed they all had the same expression of exhaustion on their faces. They walked at a briskly minding their own business. Everyone was just passing by – all of us victims of traffic. A wave of sadness suddenly came over me and I slowed down. Amidst the blur of crisp shirts and tailored coats, at the little corner of the pass, I saw the boy. But something was different about him.

He looked lifeless as he slept on a makeshift mat made of cardboard. His frail form was ignored by the busy world around him. Paying no attention to fear, I made my way towards the little corner. He was covered from head to toe with grime, flies camped at his feet, tear marks traced his cheeks, and his forehead was etched with wrinkles. 

My heart ached for him. 

Touching his shoulder, I gently woke him up.

“Hey kid, wake up, I have something for you” I said in a soft voice, holding back tears. He got up with a confused look on his face. Thank God! He’s alive! He didn’t ask questions, but his face asked them for him. I assured him that he’s safe with me.

“Have you eaten yet?”

“Not yet” said the child in a weak voice.

“Here, this is for you. All of this is for you.” My eyes welled up as I sat beside him and prepared a meal of whole roasted chicken with rice for him. I didn’t mind that people were staring at us. I didn’t mind my hunger and exhaustion. I didn’t mind that my clothes were being stained. All I cared about was how I could give back life to this boy in our little corner of the overpass.

He shared his story with me as I watched him eat. He was stuck and afraid in an unknown place without enough money to go back home. I listened and stayed with him for a while. Compassion moved me to give whatever I had left to help him reunite with his family. A child that I had once feared taught me how to truly love. 

“Thank you, mister,” he said with a smile.

As we parted ways, I was overjoyed with tears uncontrollably running down my face. That night could have been like any other night, I went home with my hands empty, but my heart was filled with grace.


“Thank you, Lord, for sending me a miracle!”


This was the first time I wrote a memoir. It’s like preserving precious memories with carefully chosen words. Any ideas how I can improve it? I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Sinagot Ng Pagmamahal – Answered By Love

Sinagot Ng Pagmamahal

(Filipino)

Hindi ko alam ang sagot
Sa lahat ng mga tanong mo sa buhay
Pero itanong mo lang
Makikinig ako sa bawat salita
Makikiramay sa bawat luha
Nandito ako

Pangako, palagi kang may tahanan sa akin
Hahawakan ko ang mga kamay mo
At sasamahang hanapin ang mga sagot
Sa bawat sulok at bawat dulo
Magka sugat-sugat man tayo

Kung pagod ka na
Ang alok ko’y kapahingahan
Lalaban ng magkasama
Hanggang malaman natin na
Wala pala ang sagot sa mundo
Kundi nakatanim ng malalim sa puso
Hindi na kailangan pang lumayo

Buksan ang iyong dibdib
Na napalambot ng paglalakbay
Ilabas lahat ng tanong
Sa tahanan ng iyong puso
Pakinggan mo at unti-unting huminahon
Tahan na, tahan na
Naririnig ka
Sinagot ka ng Pagmamahal

Answered By Love

(English)

I don’t know the answers
To all the questions you have in life
But ask them anyway
I will listen to every word
I will remain through every tear
I’m here

Promise, you will always have a home in me
I will hold your hands
And be by your side to find the answers
Through every corner and every dead end
Even if we get wounded in the process

When you get tired
I offer myself as a resting place
We will fight our battles together
Until we realize that
The answer is not in the world
But planted deep within our hearts
We didn’t need to go far

Open up your chest
Softened by the journey
Let all your questions out
In the home of your heart
Listen and slowly calm down
It’s okay, It’s okay
You’re being heard
You were answered by Love


I originally wrote this tula (poem) in Filipino. I tried my best translating the words and feelings in English. I hope the message comes across the same. For the ones who have been searching for so long. For the ones who feels heavily burdened by with life. I hope that you find a home to come back to. Whether that home is a person or a place, I sincerely pray, especially as the year ends, that you come to a home where you are welcomed, appreciated, and loved. May each of us find our way home.

Until next time!

Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash


Finding The Missing Piece (1/3): What Do You Desire?

“What you desire on the deepest level, tells you of who you really are”

Sr. Bubbles Bandojo, RC

We are all made up of different parts and pieces. Some pieces may be broken, and some may have gotten unbreakable through time. Each piece is an important part to complete the whole. 

We sometimes ask these questions: 
“Why do I feel like there’s something missing?”
“What is my purpose in life?”
“How do I go about finding it?” 
“I think I already found it, what should I do next?”

Friends, I assure you that you’re not the only one thinking about these things. Finding the missing piece is a journey that’s worth taking. I hope to at least be a humble guide who can point you in the right direction by sharing what I know. 

Journey with me in three parts in finding our missing piece. Let’s go right in.

What Do You Desire?

When something goes missing our first instinct is to try finding it. It’s easy to start a search when we can describe what we are looking for. If it’s a pen, we can search an area for a particular brand, model, and tint color. Without any description, it’s not so easy to look for something missing.

I’ve come across many people, including myself, feeling that their life seems to be meaningless and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Most of them have stable jobs and income, and yet they feel stuck. It was hard for them to find their missing piece because it is not something they can fully describe. Sometimes, they don’t even know that it’s already in front of them.

Some may have it all figured out already. Part of our missing piece can be found in pleasurable experiences. “When I get a taste of that special ramen from Japan, my life will be complete.” Or it can be expressed in our dying wish. ”If I could only talk to my daughter again and ask for her forgiveness, I can go peacefully.” Our missing piece can be anything and they are different for each individual. 

But where do we look? The piece that we are looking for can be found in our deepest and truest desires. When we live out our desires with a sound mind, we find a sense of purpose and direction. I say with a sound mind because we have to be able to discern which particular desires will serve us into becoming who we want to be.

So, what is it that you desire?

For some, this is an easy question. The majority gets stumped by this because they have been so busy living their lives not realizing that they’re leaving their desires behind. Right now I invite you to set your inhibitions aside and take the center stage.

Set a fire in your soul

Awaken Your Desires

We will go through an activity to help guide us and awaken our desires. I encourage you to do this in a reflective mood, without any distractions.

Guidelines:

  • Get yourself a pen or open a notepad.
  • Click the play button and jot down as many answers as you can until the music stops.
  • Proceed to the next question and do the same.

Are you ready? take a deep breath. 

What do you LIKE

What do you WANT

What do you DREAM

What do you DESIRE

I am sure you have written down many things. Keep your answers so you can ponder about them later.

You would notice that even if the words above are synonymous, the depth of their meaning also progressed. Likewise, the things you have written may have also progressed in depth and some of the items you wrote may have funneled out. The way we write our answers gets deeper as we progress toward the word “desire.”

Our desires may change over time. What we desire now can even give birth to another desire as we begin to journey along where our desires are pointing. The journey with desire has three movements.


3 Movements of Desire

Honor your desires
1) Acknowledge

Your desires are part and parcel of who you are. Let them surface without judgment. Sometimes we tend to suppress our own desires because we are ashamed of them or we have lost hope in them for they seem so impossible to reach. Desires are anchored to your values. Recognize and honor your desires.

I hope the previous exercise helped you remember and acknowledge your desires. Maybe you listed down some of your closely held dreams since childhood. Like a child, allow yourself to wildly desire for something again without any self-doubt and certain that it will happen at the perfect time. Also, maybe your desires have changed since you were a kid. Look at the difference between your desires then, and your desires now. Did your desires become more meaningful or have you given up on them?

Electricity. Which of your desires is your strongest desire? Which one, when you think about it gives you goosebumps and the feeling of electricity running through your veins? Which desire ignites a blazing fire in your heart? Is it only one desire or a combination of many?

Being able to live out the desires that give us life and electricity makes us free, they make us fly. These electric desires can point us to where God wants us to be, and what desires for us to become. Feel the electricity.

Let it take root
2) Desire It

Now that your electric desires are known. The next movement is for you to desire it more.

Let your desires deepen its roots. To strengthen your desire you need to test it. Is this something I deeply and truly want? Will this desire lead me to a future where I will be at peace and happy? Is this desire truly mine or just brought about by peer pressure? Does this desire deepen my love for myself and others? Desire your desires.

Pray for your desires and see what more you can discover about them. 

Do not worry if you still haven’t figured out your desires. It’s not a race. Maybe that’s where you need to start – to have the desire to desire.

As our desires take root and lead us deeper, you would notice them bearing fruits. Fruits that bless you and the people around you. The stronger and deeper the roots are, the harder it is for your desires to be toppled down by other people.

With our desires taking root, there is one movement left that we need it to go through. It’s the most difficult one. Letting the desire go.

Will you be able to let go?
3) Let it go

I know, I just told you guys to acknowledge and deepen your desires and work on them. Now I’m telling you the famous words of St. Elsa of ArendelleLet it go.

Let it go.

Our desires lead us to a destination. A destination that we can picture out in detail. If you desire to get married, you have probably imagined yourself at the altar tying the knot. If you desire to have kids, you can envision yourself carrying a baby in your arms with your spouse. If you desire to become the CEO of the company, you may have daydreamed about going up the ranks and successfully making it on top.

We should be prepared to let go of our desires.

We should not be too attached to it especially if it’s not giving you peace.

I have a friend who once went inside a novitiate following a vocation to become a Jesuit. He was so sure that this is what he wanted for his life. While inside, he was having trouble in his discernment a couple of years in. One night he fervently prayed for God to tell him if it’s his will to become a Jesuit. In his heart, God told him – “Is this what YOU really want? You can put it down.”

One of the hardest things to do in life is to let go of what you hold precious in your heart. Especially letting go of things that you have been fighting and working so hard for. My friend put his desire for pursuing his vocation down and ended up blessing many people by serving as their spiritual companion. Letting go of his deepest desire made way for an even better one.

Let go and know that what’s meant for you will stay and work out for your own good.

Does your deepest desire truly complete you? Does it lead you to peace? Does it bring you closer or away from God? Let it go.

Reflect

These are the three movements of desire. It’s a lot to take in and unpack but I will let you do that in your own time.

Your desires are real and important. Honor them, make them grow, and when the time comes, let it go. Your desires will lead you to your truth and you’ll begin to uncover your life’s greatest treasures. 

I pray that you keep nurturing your healthy desires.

Thank you so much for reading until the end. You did such good work on yourself. Sending a virtual pat on the back!

Keep safe my friends.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts about the first part of “finding the missing piece”. Comment below your insights, realizations, questions, or anything that crossed your mind in this post. Click follow to get notified when part 2 and other content is up. 


Sound Credits:

A Quiet Thought | Wayne Jones | https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary_…)

Watercolor Lilies | Aaron Kenny | https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary_…

Falling Snow | Aakash Gandhi | https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary_…)

Anton | Dan Bodan | https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary_…)

Image Credits:

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Photo by Alexis Fauvet on Unsplash

Rainbow-Trees2 | JAMES RONAN, FOAP/GETTY IMAGES

Photo by Devon Divine on Unsplash

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash


Miracle On My Cab Driver’s Playlist

I was on my way to work feeling overwhelmed and on the brink of being apathetic. The only thing I can remember was being crushed by intense emotions from all sides and my brain isn’t helping me with it’s enthusiastic overthinking. Going to work that day was a distraction to keep myself from spiraling down even more. 

My cab driver’s Spotify playlist didn’t help lift my mood. It was a hodgepodge of genres and it began to pick on my nerves. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and said a short honest prayer “Dear God, I want this day over!”

Then I heard a song that I didn’t expect to be included in the driver’s playlist. The song’s bridge and chorus goes like this:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

The song is Oceans by Hillsong UNITED. This song holds a deep meaning for me spiritually being a Christian. My eyes welled up with tears and I spent the rest of the ride struggling to hold them back. They weren’t tears of sadness but of assured joy, peace, and gratitude. That day was filled with abundant, overflowing, miraculous grace.

I believe that there are no coincidences. When God wants to tell us something He will use ordinary things in an extraordinary way that we could never expect. Whatever happens in our present and our future has already been perfectly orchestrated by God so there is no need to worry. 

Keep trusting, keep going. Have faith!

Maybe God is telling you something today. Slow down, say a prayer, be silent, and listen. 

“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

1 Samuel 3:10

Sending love! May you have a grace-filled day today!


Related Posts

Letting The Sun Rise On Mirador Hill

Last December 2019, amidst all the loud Christmas celebrations, I was going through unrest. So I went up Mirador Hill in Baguio (a Jesuit Villa in the Philippines) for a silent retreat. A silent retreat, as I would describe it, is a retreat where you quiet yourself and listen intently to your body, your mind, your emotions, and importantly, listen to God (or if you may, to a higher being). Months leading to the end of last year was filled with overwhelming events and emotions, and the only thing I wanted was to walk away from all the noise. 

With all the buzz and busyness that we have in our fast-paced world, silence can be one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. 

One night during my retreat, I found myself awake very early in the morning. It was still dark outside. Sensing a thrill of adventure, I put on my hoodie and went outside submitting myself to the cold morning air. The moon’s gentle light caressed the trees and the gardens, illuminating the pathways on the hill. I let my feet do the wandering until I found a comfortable spot on a viewing deck facing where the sun will rise. I sat there in solitude, patiently waiting for the night to give way for the day.

Relishing the cool breeze, I observed the lights of the city by the hillside. I felt anxious as I saw cars zoom around making early errands. A heavy sigh came out of my chest. I didn’t want to go back to the city. At least, not yet.

From the busy city below, my eyes fixed itself on an instrument bearing the four cardinal directions with a spinning arrow on top – a wind vane. The North, East, West, and South signs were fixed but the arrow will always point towards where the wind blows with no objections. The arrow was obedient to the wind. It didn’t resist its gale but instead followed it, even if it was spun around and around not knowing where it will point to next. I watched the wind vane fulfill its purpose. As I took in the view, the sun gradually filled the sky with magnificent light. 

I was teary-eyed as the rays painted the sky with beautiful colors. A masterpiece made just for me. It’s one of the moments that will last in my heart forever.

The sun rising on Mirador Hill

Let The Sun Rise

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

Thich Nhat Hanh

That morning taught me an important lesson that I’m still learning today – letting go

Letting go is hard especially when pain comes with it. We tend to always associate letting go with giving up control but it is also accepting things for ‘what they are’ and ‘what they are not’. Overthinking and replaying memories can ever change what has already happened or steer possible outcomes. It hurts more when we fight to tighten our grip on things that are not meant to stay. 

Letting go is trusting, accepting, and embracing uncertainties knowing that you’ll be ok. Although it seems frightening, there is freedom and peace when you let things go their natural course. When we let go we make space for new things that are sometimes packaged in uncertainty. 

Uncertainties will always come into our lives. It’s as constant as the rising of the sun and untamed like the blowing of the wind. It can come at us from any direction and point us toward uncharted territory. Wherever it leads, we just need to keep faith that we are exactly where we are meant to be. To experience new things that are not meant to harm us but strengthen us and make us better.

We cannot go to where we are meant to be unless we let go. 

Whatever you’re going through or if you’re in the middle of letting go. You’re doing great! During this pandemic maybe we are all invited to let go of what has been and embrace the new. Whatever that “new” thing is for you. As we continue to move, dear friends, hold on to hope, let go, and let the sun rise.


Thank you for reading! See you on the next post!

Leave your thoughts on the comments below.


Related Posts

The Gift in A Pandemic

two woman hugging each other
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Today is Sunday (at the time of writing), and I’m now on the 7th day of my self-quarantine having traveled from a country with confirmed cases. I’m not showing any symptoms so don’t worry! It’s a little bothersome for me that I’m holed up inside our house, mostly staying in my bedroom, with the occasional trip downstairs to eat meals and use the bathroom. I know, this will be the new normal for me, for everyone, as long as the worldwide quarantine is still being enforced – we better follow!

Life was fast paced for me as the calendar rolled from February to March. I was living from responsibility to responsibility, and worry to worry with all my plans lined up in front of me. I was in execution mode, hyping and constantly reminding myself of my “to-dos”.

“Ok man, here’s what we’re gonna do today:
Quit procrastinating!
Prepare training materials!
You need to deliver your tasks today!
Attend that important meeting this afternoon!
Leave early else you won’t make it to your weekly prayer meeting!
You have choir practice in the office AND band rehearsals at the studio tonight!
Attend Bible Study!
Keep yourself healthy!
Get ready for an upcoming talk!
Ready the script and documents for the retreat!
Reach out to people, keep them in the fold!
Pack your bags for your trip outside the country!
Eat!
Sleep!
Sanitize!
Exercise!
And, oh! before going to bed, Overthink! And overthink about overthinking!”

Gift of Rest and Action

A sudden change of pace happened as I started my self-quarantine. After a very busy month, I was able to pause and breathe as the whole city goes into a community quarantine. I don’t want to discount the negative things this disease has done to the world but with all the hope and optimism I have, I choose to see it as a gift.

It’s a gift that’s hard to appreciate (-having disrupted and taken many lives) but it has allowed, for most of us, to slow down, stop, rest, and listen. It has also given us back time to do the things that we want to do but can’t in our regular lives. It’s as if mother nature pressed a reset button so the world and everything in it can put itself back together and heal.

We are now given more opportunities to reconnect with our loved ones, eat uninterrupted meals with our families, and reach out to old friends. We now have more time to rest and let our bodies heal from lack of sleep, stress, and fatigue. We can now listen more intently to your heart’s desires, to the thoughts that bothers you, and to events happening around you, and put things into perspective. Most importantly, we can now set aside more time for prayer and rekindle our relationship with God.

Taking a moment to rest is good, but rest should always be followed by action. We may not be allowed to go out of our houses but we can still move in ways that will help people, especially the ones risking their lives in the front lines.

What can we do?

  •       Follow the rules for the quarantine
  •       Write uplifting stories and hopeful songs
  •       Affirm people making an effort in combating the disease
  •       Share good news (not fake ones) and spread reliable information
  •       Donate to organizations and causes that aids in eradicating the pandemic
  •       Pray for the front liners and the people responsible for making decisions

These are only some of the ways we can extend our help outside our homes. Let’s do our best to flatten the curve.

We are all in this together. We are now healing together. We have been cooped up in our houses for so long with little to no human touch that I can’t wait for that day when we hear from the morning news, the words “Last case of COVID19 has recovered”. I can only imagine the joy of people running out of their houses all over the world, celebrating outside, hugging the first person they see so tight, tears streaming down their faces, feeling the warmth of a person’s touch.

Be Still

What’s happening right now can be overwhelming. To take it all in and deal with the uncertainty of not being able to know what’s gonna happen tomorrow can cause a lot of doubt, confusion, and anxiety. It’s ok to feel this way. Wherever you are right now, and whatever you’re feeling I can assure you, it’s all going to be ok in the end we only need to be still.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

Friend, may your faith increase today. Allow yourself to be held. Trust that no tear, no worry, no sigh, and no struggle is left unheard by God and everything you’re going through is not wasted. God is close to the brokenhearted and hears the cry of His people. He hasn’t turned His back and left you, but He is with you, beside you, above you, behind you, and around you. He is blessing you right now with peace beyond understanding.

We don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow because he’s already been there. He has seen the healing take place. There’s no need to be afraid for He already knows what’s up, He’s not shaken, He’s not surprised. We will be able to see each other again, we can do hi-fives again, and interact with people again. No more hiding inside our houses as the day of breakthrough comes.

Right now is a time for us to fix our eyes on God and lean on him for hope for his promise of his faithfulness, joy, strength, and peace.

See You!

I believe this will be over soon and I’m so excited to see you!

We are all in a season where we can rest and take action on things that we can control. We have been given many gifts and opportunities this season and the only thing left to do is open them with gratitude. Remember that you’re not alone, the whole world is in this together. It’s OK to be overwhelmed, but don’t be discouraged and put our hope in a God who never fails.

What other gifts are you being invited to open during this quarantine? (Did you receive the gift of forgiveness? The gift of time? The gift of rest?)

See you on the day of breakthrough!

The Blessing

Let me end with a blessing from Numbers 6:24-26

“The Lord bless you and keep you

The Lord make his face shine upon you

and be gracious to you

The Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace “

Amen


Related Posts