Postscript: Christmas (on the piece "Two Christmases")

2 years ago, I wrote a piece here, where I depicted 2 different Christmases: one that was a joyous celebration, and one that was not that joyous.

Days before Christmas that year, Typhoon Washi, or Sendong, struck Mindanao and parts of Visayas and Palawan. As long as I can remember, the pictures and videos showed a very tragic aftermath. One picture that I put there in the post set my mood down. I did wonder: how they'll spend Christmas when there's nothing left? When their love ones were carried away from them?

This year, I felt the same again. History repeated itself, but now in a stronger level. Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda, is seen as the greatest storm yet. It brought damage in Visayas and parts of Minanao. It turned Tacloban and nearby places into "ghost towns", like that in The Walking Dead, or Cell.

Seeing on the TV screen what was going on there pulled me in awe. I felt compassion. I was saddened suddenly. I wondered what can I do to help. And so I wrote the poem "Donation".

Prayers were all I can give at those times. Thankfully, some days after, I took the chance of giving unused clothes.

I think this 2013 it's two Christmases again. But I also think it's not a sad Christmas at all.

Last Christmas Eve morning, I saw on the front page of The Philippine Star a nice picture of 2 typhoon survivors arranging a Christmas tree out of recyclables and relief goods. I can see there that for them it's really not a sad Christmas at all.

Despite of the storm, the Filipino spirit stayed strong. It will stay strong. Amid the sadness and grief, there are still smiles, and even laughter. Optimism remains, and hope rises.

I hope my fellow Filipinos there will get better as they go on rebuilding the devastated lands, together with the efforts of other Filipinos and the international community.

I also hope they will find hope in the Reason for the Season—in Jesus Christ. They may find Him in these trying times. They may grip on Him.

He is really the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Again—I'll point it out to you—the day of His birth is not specifically pointed out. But for me it's good enough to celebrate the fact that He existed, that He was born for us, for the salvation of mankind.

Christmas is not much about gifts, or getting what you want, or enjoying a feast. It's celebrating God's goodness and love. It's learning to be generous and overflowing with love towards others. It is acknowledging what God has done to us out of His love—giving the dying world His perfect present, a living Savior(credits to Our Daily Bread). That was what I was reminded of this Christmas.

Days before this, I really didn't feel it's Christmas. There's the usual work, plus a burden that suddenly came like a storm (I prefer not to tell you that until a better time permits).

But God is good, I was blessed with such presents this Christmas season. They're not wrapped, they just came in. One of them was that reminder of what the season really is. I think it's better to list the others:

  • The joy of giving (at Christmas party). 
  • The joy of being with friends that I missed since 4th year began (post-party)
  • That peace coming from the Prince of Peace
  • The joy of bonding with the family
  • The rest I can have after all the hustle and bustle

This year's Christmas appeared to be different from the past ones. But still, it's a blessing.

I hope, dear reader, that you also see Christmas as I now see it. And I hope you'll accept Him in your life. The gift is already there. It's yours to accept.

Blessed holidays to you! 

"He left His Father's throne above
So free so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love
And bled for Adam's helpless race.

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou my God shouldst die for me?..."

—"And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" 
from A Treasury of Hymns, Ralph Carmichael and the 
London Symphony Orchestra and Choir

No comments:

Post a Comment

Questions? Opinions? Suggestions? Grammatical errors? Don't hesitate! Give a comment!