Have you tried praying for those problems?"
I clearly remembered being half-stunned and half-confused when my CABAList friend Zyxell asked me that question after he received the group message I sent to a list of friend's number on my phone, including him. I was amazed that of all my friends, an online gamer who casually do trashtalking in-game would say such "pray" stuff. He was kind when we occasionally reply to my group messages asking if I was doing just fine or teasing me with his "They-hurt-you-again?" line. I believed he was somehow tired of all my "negative" group shoutouts, just like everyone else. But then again, it was a remarkable reply and I couldn't get it off my mind.
"I am a bad person. I don't really pray," I replied.
"You idiot! Pray for it. You have to realize that it is only you and God who can solve those issues. So do it, and do it now!"
Yes, I actually laughed when I read that text message from him where he called me idiot. I haven't erased that message on my phone. He made it sound so "brother-like" and it made me smile despite my enraged and bitterly feelings.
It has been a hell of week, I should say, that I almost wanted to go insane. And there he was telling me that I was an idiot for not talking to God. And of all the people I have talked to about my frustrations, he was the only one who told me to pray. At that very moment, it all made sense - I don't need to talk to anyone but God - and the fact that I didn't even think about it.
It was Thursday night, I remembered, and I thought of going to church the next day after my work. The next day was quite peaceful and good, to my surprise. The clock ticked 5:30 PM and when I was at LRT Line 2, I suddenly doubted going to church, feeling all tired and exhausted from all the work and what happened throughout the week. I actually invited a friend to come with me, but he hasn't replied if he can make it. It was Friday night, a night where most people go out and have fun. I felt my left and right brain contradicting each other - to go to church or to go home.
As I made my way to the LRT Line 1, I was still convincing myself that it was my chance and I really needed to go. I kept on reminding myself of the things that has been bothering me throughout the week and this move - talking to Him - was my last resort. It's now or never, I thought. I took a deep breath and finally made up my mind. I checked my phone, still no response. I called, but he didn't answer. But why the hell did it matter? God will watch out for me as I made my way from the LRT station to the church. I needed to walk through a couple of busy and unsafe streets with vendors and people around, but God will accompany me so I don't have to be afraid. I will go alone.
I reached the church and walked pass through the hall, aiming for a certain room where people can light up small candles and pray. I looked around the room and spotted an area without lighted candles. I went there, took some candles from the box beside the walls, and lit up a piece.
I lit this candle for myself. I stared at its small fire and felt my mind drifting from one problem to the next, then all of it bursting out one by one - pouring and flowing through my soul. I started to talked to Him, confessing my feelings and letting Him know everything.
I lit up some candles for others as well.
A candle for CABAL - my guildmates, my buddies, the game itself and the people behind it.
A candle for my family - my mom and siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and some relatives.
I lit candles for certain people as well. I knew they have big problems, so I asked for God's guidance, that He may light up their minds and hearts as well.
Lastly, I lit a candle for Him. I was thankful that never gave up on me, despite the fact that most of the time I don't think about Him. I heard Him saying it didn't matter, that I was here with Him and He was happy that I answered His call. It was priceless. Peaceful. Relaxing. Relieving.
And before I knew it, the bad feelings were gone and I was smiling. I looked deeply at the candles I lit - this was the first time I lit candles and pray.
I inhaled deeply, feeling satisfied than ever. I turned around and made my way back to the church hall again, and when I was about to turn to the corner, I almost bumped to my friend. "You’re late, I remembered telling him." He smiled and put his hand on top of my head. Sometimes, just sometimes, I wished he was my father.
We sat on church chairs and talked for a while. I know God wouldn't mind if we talked in front of Him. I told him I was happy that I went there and he told me that he saw it in my eyes.
He accompanied me back to LRT but it was already closed, to my dismay, so I ended up riding jeepney. When I got home, my aunt showed me a second hand laptop she bought just today. I assumed she needed to replace a hard disk, but she got a whole laptop instead. And then I began to smile. Seemed like an answer to one of those little prayers a while ago.
(Written: May 23, 2012)
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