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Archive for August, 2010

(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

I don’t watch a lot of TV so I was oblivious to the heartbreaking tragedy that took many innocent lives on Monday until a co-worker pointed it out to me when I arrived at work later that day.  Just a couple of weeks prior to the incident, I was at the exact location where the hostage-taking unfolded, sight seeing and touring the area with a foreign friend. 

In retrospect, I thought how desperate a measure it was that the man took hostages in an attempt to bring back whatever dignity was left of him. I wonder if he had a chance to ponder about the serious repercussions of his plan. Was he able to think about the numerous lives that might have been lost? The many hearts that will be broken? I wonder if he had a chance to get down on his knees to pray for guidance and comfort. I wonder if he received enough support from his family and friends before he committed his fatal act. Clearly, he wasn’t in his proper frame of mind when he did what he did. It was an unfortunate tragedy that left many people saddened, angry, and some scarred for a lifetime.   


In a similar scenario this week, I witnessed how an act of unselfish service blessed the lives of two women who had been through a recent traumatic shooting incident themselves involving loved ones and friends. Someone in a position to help quietly went out of their way to offer comfort and lift the trauma off these women’s distressed minds. I witnessed the real meaning of charity come to life and was deeply touched by what I saw. It was the gospel in action. I wish the hostage-taker had someone like this person reach out to him during his contemplative moments so he didn’t end up doing what he did. But then now it’s too late.        


I sympathize with the families of those whose lives have been lost in such a senseless manner. I wish that those who have passed on have already lived their lives to the fullest and have already accomplished what they came here on earth to do.


In the darkest moments of our lives, it is good to remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. That we will not be given anything we won’t be able to bear. That there is help if we but seek it. Heavenly Father is there for us. He is the Father of our spirits and He loves us beyond our comprehension. He will help us when all else fails and we’ve done all that we could. Despite our many challenges and trials, our lives don’t have to end in any kind of tragedy. We can rise above the blues. Our Father wants us to succeed in all aspects of our lives. And He is there watching…and waiting. We just have to reach out to Him.  

  

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(Photograph by Roxanne Juele-Montojo)


I accidentally watched the final part of a beautiful sunset today inside the car while my friend and I were stuck in heavy traffic on our way to the grocery. I didn’t move the car until I couldn’t see the orange part of the sun anymore. I guess the driver of the car behind me was just as fascinated with the view because I didn’t hear any honks as I enjoyed the moment—or perhaps I just zoned out and time stood still. It felt at that time as if it was just me and the setting sun.


Anyway, earlier in the day, her dog gave her a dead bird “offering” which she found a little bit gross. But I related to her a story I once heard about a cat offering its owner a mouse in exchange for his kindness. In its unique feline world, bringing a dead mouse as a gift must be the grandest and ultimate thing he could do to express his gratitude to his owner for giving him all that he had.


How similar our offerings are to our Creator! He who owns everything in this world does not need anything we can ever offer. But He appreciates all that we do offer Him and asks for no more than a humble heart and a contrite spirit. And when we finally give whatever it is that He had asked of us, He blesses us even more!!


How can we ever repay Him and His goodness? Our offerings must be like the dead bird or mouse. Yet He continues to paint rainbows in the sky and gives us breathtaking sunsets. We are eternally indebted to Him for everything that we have and are, and yet as a parent myself, I know that our Father in Heaven doesn’t need any of our offerings for Him to continue loving us unconditionally and unequivocally. He simply does.

 

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Someone once said: “I don’t believe in miracles, I depend on them.” I thought that was an interesting line and it applies to me as well.


My whole life is full of miracles, great and small. Beginning from the circumstances under which I was born and raised, to surviving many life-threatening situations and challenges. Through it all and until this very moment, I have seen how the hands of God have delivered me in many, many instances and for that my heart is overflowing with gratitude.


Last night during dinner with some of my colleagues, I wasn’t surprised when someone exclaimed, “It’s a good thing you’re still here.” And I feel the same way! 🙂 It’s good to still be here, alive and facing all the challenges and enjoying all the wonderful blessings of this experience called life.


And despite the unending battles we are all facing; it is good to know that we are not alone. That as children of a divine nature, we are entitled to divine assistance if we only look up, reach out and ask.  


I know that faith precedes miracles. Even faith as small as a tiny seed of mustard can make the Red Sea part, raise a person from the dead, free an entire nation from bondage, or make all of our heavy burdens seem light. These things have happened before and they can happen again—even in a very personal way for each of us.


The promise was once given: “And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs…; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions” (Mosiah 24:14).


As I sat on the shore of a beach listening to the sound of the rushing waves this past weekend, I couldn’t help but admire the beauty and magnificence of God’s creations and I couldn’t even begin to comprehend the miracle of it all! But I am definitely most grateful to be in and part of it because I don’t just believe in miracles, I depend on them every single day. 🙂

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