JOYS & PITFALLS OF TRUE TEACHING
(Second Part of a Series)
By Benjamin Eugenio Jr LMT
Free Hotel Accommodation at EDSA, Anyone?. Even though I received a modest amount from orphanage authorities I always make sure that I use it to reward the most behaved amongst my wards in a given week. And it delighted many of them most of the time.
Perhaps I did it too far at one time. Because when I have to send off my sister Girlie at the Manila’s international airport- I did so even if I don’t have enough money for my bus fare going home. I made an out-of this world covenant to myself and to the Heavens above, “Lord, I beseech you to touch my sister’s heart. Tell her to give me money so I can get back home safe and sound. Or else, I would walk home.”
That was a serious joke. I thought I can coerce God that way.
OMG! What am I doing? I was expecting for a miracle. I anxiously listened and waited. Yet there was no sound, no voice, no thunder whatsoever but utter, deafening silence.
Reality has it that being in Pasay and going home to Marikina simply means miles and miles of walk- in the middle of the night. After all the hugs, kisses and good-byes still there was no money.
And so I started to walk. Yes, literally, I walked home albeit reluctantly.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the unforgiving EDSA road, occasionally being drench by rain showers along the way, needless to mention all the road noise, the smoke and dust particles and huge possibility of being hit by scurrying, mindless buses here and there, I got an experience that few would even dare to even think about- sleeping along with street urchins along the city’s toughest thoroughfares.
I had no choice. I have no money. I was tired and cold and hungry- I was all too sleepy to drag my feet even just in a few distance. I lied down with smelly, grime-looking strangers. You could just imagine a puzzling-look from some of them.
I remember some of my wards saying that the most precious commodity in the streets is –a pair of shoes.
I cannot afford to lose it. I cannot fathom walking home from Santolan to Marikina barefoot. And so I removed my shoes, tied each other and made a hard pillow out of it- never mind the smell. At least, it may never be grabbed from me!
After a few hours of rest, I continued with my unfinished journey home. Still sleepy but I need to get up and walk home - this time faster as the dawn is breaking. Heaven knows how long I walked then suddenly everything turned to instant joy when I had, at last, a glimpse of the orphanage. Yepeee! I’m home! I shouted with glee.
Experience like No Other. It was a splendid experience indeed. So splendid that one of the children who opened the gate for me asked, “Where have you been Papa Robert?” I just wryly smiled, trying to hide my exhaustion and deprivation, and said, “Son, your papa had just an interesting walk from the airport to Marikina.”
All I got were puzzled look all over. (to be continued)