by Melvin Baclay (29th Batch)
Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Psalm 40:5 KJV
Breath defying belly laughs. Sleepless nights. Heartfelt activities. Meeting of old and new friends. Inspiring messages.
These are just some of the memories stored in my brain during that special gathering. The retreat, though spiritually reviving, was physically exhausting.
If the goal was to teach missionaries important lessons on physical, mental, social and spiritual aspects of life, I can say that it has achieved its goal in me and in many others as well. It is now up to us to put those lessons into action.
But God doesn’t really get tired of teaching us lessons because the day after the retreat, He taught me a new one. And I liked it. I like it when He teaches me even through sufferings, inconveniences and stressful moments because it makes me feel loved and cared for. It makes me even realize that God must really love me so much to be so concerned with my spiritual growth.
So it was Monday. Mondays are normally not friendly to me and that day wasn’t anything different. Still feeling the physical after-effects of the retreat, with five consecutive classes ahead, I wished it were a holiday. But of course dreams and realities are two different things and that became more apparent when students started coming in.
A little later, having no choice, I started my classroom routine. A little scolding, occasional yawning and a few laughs were the extra ingredients that have helped me get through my four straight classes. Then came Chelsea, Rick and Amy aged 7, 8 and 10. They are young but they have exceptional abilities to push you to the limit of your patience, temperance, self-control and understanding. And I admit they had been successful in reaching my breaking point a few times before. That day, in their attempts, I only responded with a low voice, clenched fist, deep sighs, smiles and silent prayers. But still, doing so was never easy.
Right after dismissing them, I slumped on my chair, leaned back, faced up, closed my eyes, feeling physically, mentally and emotionally over drained. Then I heard Zion, my pastor’s two-year-old son calling my name, “Teacher Melvin! Teacher Melvin!” (which actually sounded like “tichay Meebee”).
When I walked out of my room, with his cute smile, he came running towards me saying my name. I gave him a hug and carried him in my arms. He looked at me, touched my face and said, “tichay Meebee” then kissed me.
There was magic in those innocent gestures that took away the negative feelings Monday had brought me. Zion is an angel and God is wonderful. It wasn’t just a coincidence. It was a God-directed scene and the goal was to touch, teach and heal my tired soul.
God uses anything and anyone to show us that He cares: a friend, a teacher, a book, a flower or even a stranger. In my case, he used Zion, a little child, as His instrument to tell me that He cares.
In every circumstance, God sees. And if we look closely, we will see that in His perfect time, He works wonders that may even defy human understanding.