(originally posted on January 1, 2010)
We are proud of our Zek.
Eversince he learned how to give alms, mostly in kind, to the poor beggars on the streets, he has always been on the look-out for them and would eagerly ask anything from us for anything he can give out. And with an innocent understanding of what being poor is, he looks directly at the beggar’s face while handing out his alms then walks away with a joyous smile, knowing that he is able to help another person in need.
One incident though posed a huge challenge for his generosity towards the poor. After a short visit to a tree and plant nursery for Zek’s homeschool activity (see related blog link with the title “Let us Go Green” - http://zeksantos.i.ph/blogs/zeksantos/2009/12/), we passed by the small bakeshop that my wife regularly buys bread from. While inside the car and waiting for his mother, I caught a glimpse of an elderly beggar a few feet away from us. I called Zek’s attention towards the elderly while handing over a packed loaf of sweet bread from his mother’s bag.
Zek was motionless as a statue until he started to shed a tear in silent protest. I was caught off-guard with his reaction and inquired in the same instant, “Why are you crying Zek?”
“Daddy, this is my favorite bread and I am hungry now”, he said in breaking his silence about his unusual reaction to his alms-giving opportunity.
How truthful his declarations were.
After nearly two hours inside the tree nursery, he is much ready to devour any food that catches his attention. He is really hungry.
I also remember my wife telling me before that that bread is really one of his favorite bread. He can finish one loaf by himself with very little time to spare.
Right then and there, I needed to re-assure him.
“Zek, I know that you are already hungry and that this is your favorite bread, but you know mommy is out there in the bakeshop at this moment and buying another of your favorite bread for you to eat. She is also buying a good drink to go along with it for you to enjoy your snack more. Lolo over there, however is really more hungry than you and he has no mommy to buy him this bread.”
Zek hesitated and seemed to prolong his non-response. He still was visibly sad but after a longer after-thought, he went down the car and run towards Lolo and gave his favorite bread.
He came back to the car at the same time his mother arrived from the bakeshop. And as Zek was about to feel sad again about losing his favorite bread, his mother pulled out another loaf of bread – exactly the same kind which was actually under the bag which I failed to notice when I got the first one. Not only that, his mother showed him more breads bought from the bakeshop.
Zek was still sad but we knew that he understood in his young heart that we, his parents, know his needs and will provide for him no matter what.
He just needed to trust us.
A few more clock ticks and New Year is here.
While most of us are busy making personal resolutions to gain or improve our health, wealth and overall well-being, it should also make sense for us to pause and reflect what “favorite breads” of us are we willing to depart with in order to further serve the Lord in the coming year.
There are two types of “favorite breads”.
One type spoils and harms the soul. These are our favorite sins that we have become so accustomed to that it become like second skin for us. Lying, manipulation, corruption, injustice, rumor-mongering and gossiping, addiction to vices, spousal infidelities, bad temper, unforgiveness are to name a few. These things must top our agendas of things-to-avoid in the coming year.
Another type of “favorite breads” are more difficult to depart with because they bring happiness and fulfillment. Suffice to say, they are, at times, even essential. However, they can still hinder us from realizing our real calling and purpose in God’s over-all plan.
Think about these situations.
A man giving up his love of a lifetime to become a priest.
A wealthy man giving up his hard-earned belongings for the poor.
A couple leaving the comforts of simple living and braving hunger and persecution in far-flung areas to become missionaries of God’s love.
Of course, there will always be a “confused Zek” in us when these times of calling arrive into our lives.
We can be sad.
We can be anxious and wary.
We can protest in silence.
We can be fearful at what the future will hold for us and our loved ones.
However, we must take the time to listen to Him.
We can rest on His gentle voice that lovingly assures us of His guidance and providence.
In the end, we can and should trust in His promise.
Because His promise is always true.
After all, He is our Bread of Life.
Happy New Year to all.
posted in http://mabutingbalita.net by Daddy Rowin