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A Wish Granted Upon that Christmas Star
Wind-chilling breeze.. Pitch-black sight.. Numbing silence..
I can even hear my heart throbbing - but in a steady, stable pace..
“Where am I?”, I mumbled as my eyes wandered in an utterly peculiar place..
These heightening sensations enveloped me as I put my foot in front of another in a thin shining rope bridge that was surely 50 feet high above the ground. This could not be a circus. If it was, I could have seen at least an exhilarated audience watching me cross this rope bridge or that lights should have been brighter than this. I have never conjured an image of myself being a tightrope walker. My eyes automatically locked on a bright figure from a distance. All I could see was a person wearing a white tunic sparkling from that distance as though it was a star that never faded its light. As I inched my way to the other end of this rope and getting closer to the figure, I was beginning to see this person’s curly hair. He looked so idyllic and utterly divine. I was grateful though that I managed to reach the other end – unscathed amidst the danger that I could fall flat on the ground any time. I saw myself hugging the figure and he was hugging me back – giving me an unmistakable warmth and security that I felt I never need to worry on anything. I wanted to relish that moment as long as I could - asking time a favour to be kind enough not to expire this majestic scene. Hugging the figure as tight as I could made me lull to sleep from a sleep. Yes, it was a dream.. A beautiful dream.. I dreamt of Jesus..
As a child of 6 years of age, I dreaded waking up on that Christmas morning of 1990. The night before that Christmas was a tough one for me. Children normally await Christmas with a countdown – a signal to open their gifts with a steadfast expectant spirit that they will see Santa Claus or perhaps, a cue to gorge on their Noche Buena. I also had my countdown that Christmas – but it was a different one. I was trying so hard to focus on my own countdown that my pain would leave me. Playful and elated of what the Christmas magic might bring me, I stood high on a chair behind Mama. All I could remember was – surprising your Mother while she was holding a boiling pot of water was truly an agonizing combination. Mama accidentally threw a boiling water onto my stomach. The excruciating pain was intolerable and severe that I was circling the whole room frantically just so the pain would go away. But it didn’t. I was struggling to console myself to sleep thinking it could anaesthetized the pain. Again, it never did. The pain seemed to unendingly cut the layers of my skin through and through even after the impact of the hot water onto my skin. The force of heat seems to go on. I laid in bed with a fixed position of my whole body facing the ceiling. Turning on either sides was a daring move if I want to aggravate the pain.
And the clock struck twelve. The most awaited day of the year had just begun. While everybody was busy on their Christmas merriment, my parents were busy helping me to relieve that pain. The whole family took no notice of the sumptuous dishes served on the table as they hurried by my side. We managed to say our bedtime prayers and in between my loud snivels and staggering efforts to suppress the pain, I pray fervently to Jesus, the Baby in the manger. I did fell asleep. Crying truly has therapeutic benefits. Crying tired me off. It stroke me to sleep. I could recall how Mama and Papa got so handicapped by worry. They felt paralyzed to see me in pain.
Then, I dreamt of Him.
“Angeli!”, Mama called me out the first time to wake me up so our family could have a breakfast together – not missing one out. I ignored it, wanting to go back to the dream that I had. I was using some more time. “Angeli!”, the voice seemed to be coming from our small yard. Mama had started sweeping our front lot. I carefully got up, not wanting to feel the pain from the burns that I was cooked up last night. I was waiting for the pain to get on me – drawing a picture in my mind of hyperactive blisters, excited to erupt onto my skin - but, instead of pain I felt the itch of a healing wound. Wondering if the sensation was real or that I could have been half asleep – attached from my former dream or half-awake, I raised up my shirt to greet the wounds a “Merry Christmas” (the least that I could do). I was astounded – no words could ever explain – how the wounds from a night ago can turn immediately to brown, dried and itching healed wounds. Tempted of the tingling sensation of itching wounds, I try to steal a few scratch – and it amazed me that I felt even better scratching those without giving me any ache.
“They healed fast!”, I murmured. I jumped in ecstasy, ran down the stairs and stormed the gate, shouting to my mother, “Ma, they healed fast!”
Mama left immediately her chore and looked at my injured tummy. She couldn’t believe what she saw. Papa came over to take a look as well. All I could remember, Mama’s eyes were welling up in tears – probably because of immeasurable gratitude of what had happened. Papa led the whole family to visit the Church. I can clearly remember my Sister – a 4-year old then, poking my tummy jokingly. “Really Ate? Papa Jesus visited you last night and got your wounds away?”. I answered with a smile and a big, “Yes!”
Time may have added years to my age but I never fail to believe that miracles do happen - even if it is not Christmas. I am no more than holier than anyone of you. I am just like everybody else. I morph every now and then into a scaredy cat when confronted with life’s difficulties. Every time I wrestle a trial into face-off duel, I take time to say my prayers, threw my cares into the wind, do the best that I could and allow Him to work into my life. There are a lot of things that I cannot control and I am more than willing to surrender and cast my cares to Him. He knows best and He knows what’s best for me. The dream and the miracle taught me to trust Him more and He has blessed me back for countless of times. Trusting Him make me enjoy His gift of life even more.
I don’t care about those people who refuse to believe. To be more precise, I pity those people who would question me for sharing my experience. It happened to me. Everything is real. Are we too old now to believe that miracles happen every day or do we decide to desensitize ourselves because it spares us the disappointment from expecting something we have always desired? We normally indulge ourselves to various myths and over rationalizations that we trek our lives alone – but in reality – we are always blessed to have His company. We account every accomplishment to ourselves alone – mindlessly overlooking that everything in our lives has been programmed by God – synchronized every detail of your life and chronicled it in such a way you can cherish it more than you could ever imagine. He has always been there with us. In His miracle-realm, He wants you to believe everything first before seeing what you desire happen before your eyes.
I pray that you can bring back your childlike anticipation of waking up in a Christmas morning – or every morning – filled with hope because of the magic or miracle that this new day brings. I pray that your Christmas socks would be full by midnight because of the gazillion blessings, lessons and values you have learned for this year. I pray that your hearts would leap in joy of unspeakable gratitude. I pray even more fervently that the walls which barricade your faith in believing that there is a Loving God will collapse by seeing how incredibly and extremely blessed your life is. Despite of the noises in your world right now, I am eagerly asking you to take Him at your center stage. Remember, He is always in control. He can always transform every painful thing in your life for your greater good. I pray that you won’t stop believing in this.
Are you now ready to open your gifts this Christmas? I’ll give you a better version of that question. Are your hearts now open to witness and encounter your most awaited miracle? The gift of another year to come promises you an even more exciting and happier life story waiting to unfold. Just like my personal experience, I can never be more thrilled to listen to your miracles.
With a heart filled with joy, gratitude and love, I pray my greetings would reach you well.