Overwhelmed yet hopeful

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas - The Freeman

Do you have days when you wake up to so much hope and light, and feel all will be well, with God’s grace? By evening time, however, have you experienced being overwhelmed by depressing events in our country and in the world that suddenly darkness and despair dangerously close in on you?

This week, we saw thousands of our people suffered heat and distance to go back to work. Eager to earn for their family, there were also those who started earlier than midnight to reach their workplace. Some fainted along the way.

Why no one in government bothered to remember to provide transportation for our working people, why our commuters and their welfare did not figure in the bright post ECQ plans of Du30 and his men- our people are asking questions, demanding better service, genuine attention, quick effective solutions.

Add to these transport-deprived Filipinos, our attention-deprived returning OFWs. They continue to rightfully gripe about the lack of sincere concern about their plight.

This very painful post about one OFW will pierce your heart.

Jomar Josef Tanyag, 49 years old, who worked as a water treatment operator in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, self-documented his agony. In between coughs and catching his breath, a very sick Jomar described what he was going through, how he was repeatedly sent back and forth a clinic, then finally sent back on self-quarantine to his unit.

All alone in his room, his self-taken video showed him begging for help, but none came. His last words -- "Hindi ko na kaya, Diyos ko, kayo na po ang bahala." The video ended. Jomar’s life as well.

Again, more questions, even anger.

Why was he alone and unattended to? Couldn’t he have been assisted by friends, the Philippine Embassy, others? How many more of our people will continue to be left on their own and be unattended to? How many more unnecessary deaths will it take before our needy people are cared for?

Across the seas, another video showed a white policeman, Derek Chauvin, with his knee on the neck of a black man, George Floyd, for 8 minutes, 46 seconds. No one among the white policemen who apprehended him heard his plea, his shout-“I cannot breathe!” The whole world witnessed Floyd breathed his last and now the ugly face of racism, anger, hate and violence continue in many parts of the United States of America.

Prayers please for Jomar, George, our whole world..

Hardship, pain, hurt, agony, neglect, pandemic, poverty, persecution, greed – will darkness and evil ever be chased away by light and good?

Gratefully, Pope Francis gently spoke to us last Pentecost.

Pope Francis shared that as “we find ourselves in the famine of hope“ in the present world marked by narcissism, victimhood, and pessimism,” the Holy Spirit reminds us that “we are God’s beloved children, not bits of confetti blown about by the wind but irreplaceable fragments in his mosaic.”

“It is important to believe that God is gift, that He acts not by taking away, but by giving.”

“If we have in mind a God who takes away and imposes himself, we too will want to take away and impose ourselves: occupying spaces, demanding recognition, seeking power. But if we have in our hearts a God who is gift, everything changes. If we realize that what we are is his gift, free and unmerited, then we too will want to make our lives a gift. By loving humbly, serving freely and joyfully, we will offer to the world the true image of God.”

Rather than be overwhelmed by this world’s darkness and evil, let us remember God, that He is in control. With God, hope springs eternal.




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