There was even an irony: his humble stance as he walked up the stage and his courage as he spoke God’s words before the crowd.
By Marie Cher Cabawatan
I have always believed in the causality of things. Every creature on earth is created for a purpose. Everything that happens has a reason. When my parents finally separated when I was 8 years old, it wasn’t much a big deal. While it is true that the situation greatly contributed to my shyness, it also somehow broadened my understanding about life. Nevertheless, I am showered with love by my folks despite their animosity towards each other.
Reading has been my passion ever since I learned how to read. As early as I can remember, about age 3 or 4, I’ve been flipping pages of magazines and was very much fascinated with pictures. The earliest words I remembered were from the sumptuous recipe page for the holiday seasons. Ham, cheese, salt, pepper, it said. Time came when I’m even laughing at the jokes in the “Laughter, the Best Medicine” page. I would climb book shelves and rummage old chests in search for reading materials. Now that I am 29, I still have that undying passion for reading. There is always that moment that I felt contented in the solace of books.
It was also my dream to be a doctor, a pediatrician. Already in the last quarter of my senior year in high school, I was prepared to embark in medical school. Sadly, that never happened. Indeed it had caused disappointments in my family. But some things always happen for a reason. And it was indeed a great reason. For it was the time to heed to the call of the Maker.
It was my father who convinced me. He was persistent that I come with him to Apalit, Pampanga, north of Manila. He had been hooked in watching Ang Dating Daan on TV and it is very much evident that the preacher, Bro. Eliseo Soriano had much influence in him.
I have witnessed my father transform. It was odd but it was good. He started giving up his vices gradually. But as a teen-ager, I wasn’t really much interested in religion although I grew up a catholic and was even attending an all-girl catholic school.
When I was finally able to come to Apalit, things started to change. The crowd in the thanksgiving looked very odd to me; the celebration itself, equally odd. The gathering was something new to me; very much different from the traditional masses and feasts I attended in the catholic faith.
When it was time for Bro. Eli to speak, as he walked towards the lectern clutching his Bible, I felt something unexplainable. It was the first time I saw him in person. There is something about the man, something different from the impression I have of him as the tongue-lashing preacher on TV.
There was even an irony: his humble stance as he walked up the stage and his courage as he spoke God’s words before the crowd. Never have I heard the Scriptures with much clarity. It is God speaking through that man!
I realized at that moment that Bro. Eli plays a significant role in my life. My eyes still well up tears every time I remember that moment: the messenger of God in his meek gait into my life.