Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Through Heaven's Eyes (Now Playing Too)

I thought I had given up on politics after law school. After seeing how people believed what they chose to believe and supported those whom they could share or control power with, I made a decision to live my life in service of my fellowmen as a Christian, so that the world's penchant for politics could be tempered by Christ's teachings, and never again run for "public" office or to dance the dance of politics.

Perhaps my U.P. professors would be glad to know that I have not given up my idealism. No, not one bit. It had just been upgraded from a mere desire to make a difference in this world, to a strong hope to be part of change the way Jesus taught his disciples to do. I thought I was prepared for anything, after years of being in student councils and then experiences in the practice of law, up to the eight years I spent in Lingkod, where I breathed passion and service for the Gospel.

Well I was surprised at my own ignorance. How could I think that Philippine society would improve so quickly, or that people would listen to the truth just because they claimed to be Christians? I was reminded of the following verses:

Mat 10:1-42, ESV

(1) And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.

(5) These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, (6) but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
(7) And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
(8) Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.
(9) Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, (10) no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.
(11) And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. (12) As you enter the house, greet it.
(13) And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. (14) And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.
(16) "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (17) Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,
(18) and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.
(19) When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.
(20) For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

(22) and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

(24) "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.

(25) It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
(26) "So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. (27) What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.

(30) But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
(31) Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

(38) And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
(39) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
(40) "Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.

How could I think that I would be spared from difficulty just because I had good intentions, well at least from my point of view? Maybe I should take intrigues with a grain of salt and make sure I gave no reason to cause them in the first place. I was doing all right when I learned about them through other people, but when I was confronted with all sorts of questions as to my family background and civil status; my address, education, profession, and workplace; my relationships and priorities in life, by people whom I had only spoken to for the first time, I felt the strength of the combined blows and admitted I was not above being affected by such scrutiny. In other cultures, it was considered rude to ask those personal questions. They were not the stuff "small talk" were made of in those parts.

Here in our country people have less respect for the right to privacy. The cross-examination I was subjected to gave me the impression that they were looking for my credentials, wondering who I was as I seemed to appear out of nowhere, and thinking that surely I was a pretender, for no self-respecting lawyer would spend her time serving at church unless she had other motivations, or could not find a decent job elsewhere.

I could not defend myself short of bragging. It was unprofessional to solicit the "investigators" as clients if only to show that I was a lawyer accepting cases, and downright sinful to fall into the trap and play the game of politics, of name-dropping and achievement-reciting. I could not come up with a single sarcastic response or witty reply when I needed them most! I could only say the truth, and the truth sounded lame somehow. I wish I had better news to say - that I was married (which somehow legitimized anyone, apparently) or engaged (the next best thing); gainfully employed (but this in itself would make me too busy to be at church everyday in the first place, hello!); filthy rich and in no need of making a living and wanting only to live off my inheritance and distributing them to the poor.

My parents and friends said I should give this time and let people get to know me; that I need not prove anything; and that I didn't have to please everyone. They cited and Noli me Tangere and Florante at Laura as depicting the way Filipinos acted, consistently then and now. Sadly, things have not changed, or if they did they had gone from bad to worse.

I should not let anyone make me feel small. My security should lie in my relationship with God, and I should remind myself that I am His daughter, first and foremost, and that was the only identification card that I had to carry. It should come out in the way I speak, look, and act.

It is easier said than done! If only we looked at the world with heaven's eyes, as Moses' father-in-law sang in the movie, "The Prince of Egypt". We had a film showing of that animated feature for the youth during Holy Week, and it would be one of the film clips for my presentation tomorrow to the 100+ young people at the Youth Alive Summer Program (YASP).

I should concentrate on the task at hand and not mind too much that I don't fit other people's standards. I should pray for all of us that we may grow to become a Christian community and live up to the name.

I will sing na lang!

Through Heaven's Eyes
[" The Prince Of Egypt " CD]

A single thread in a tapestry
Through its color brightly shine
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design

And the stone that sits on the very top
Of the mountain's mighty face
Does it think it's more important
Than the stones that form the base?

So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life

Look at your life through heaven's eyes

A lake of gold in the desert sand
Is less than a cool fresh spring
And to one lost sheep, a shepherd boy
Is greater than the richest king
If a man lose ev'rything he owns
Has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning
Of a new and brighter birth?

So how do you measure the worth of a man
In wealth or strength or size?
In how much he gained or how much he gave?
The answer will come
The answer will come to him who tries
To look at his life through heaven's eyes

And that's why we share all we have with you
Though there's little to be found
When all you've got is nothing
There's a lot to go around

No life can escape being blown about
By the winds of change and chance
And though you never know all the steps
You must learn to join the dance
You must learn to join the dance

So how do you judge what a man is worth
By what he builds or buys?
You can never see with your eyes on earth
Look through heaven's eyes
Look at your life
Look at your life
Look at your life through heaven's eyes

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