July. It was Sunday afternoon when I hurriedly flagged down a taxi to bring me to Partas-Pasay Terminal. I rushed toward the station only to learn that they have no trip from there to Laoag.
“Go to Cubao station,” I was advised.
A tricycle volunteered (that’s with a fee hehe) to bring me back to EDSA where I can take a bus going to Cubao. I jumped in and off he drove!
[Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Inside the speeding bus, I requested the conductor to drop me off where I can walk to Partas-Cubao station. I later learned it was around 4-5 blocks (or I lost count) going in from EDSA.
At the station, “A ticket to Paoay please, or anywhere near that place where I can get off,” I told the uniformed-man in blue. “You better take that Laoag trip. It’s about to depart,” he commented.
I followed the queue of people lining up to go in.
There I noticed someone behind me wearing a veil. A nun? I was innocently smiling. It was my first time to take a trip to Laoag and first time from that station. With a kind face, the nun smiled back.
Stepping into the bus, I looked for a seat to take. I already picked one but then when I saw the nun took the seat at the back and she has no companion, I stood, walked and sat beside her. With a nun beside, I just felt God securing me and giving me assurance that moment. Yes, at such instance, I needed that feeling.
As the bus departed from the station, I tried to converse with her using Ilocano dialect assuming she was an Ilocana. She just nodded. I was puzzled that I even forgot the question that I asked her. (She wasn’t an Ilocana.)
After some minutes, I heard a phone ringing. Someone’s calling the nun.
And surprise surprise — she was conversing in Bisaya!
I got to understand some of the words. I don’t speak Bisaya but I can tell somehow.
After the call, I initiated a dialog once again and then there I came to know her more.
She is from Tacloban assigned in La Union. That weekend, she attended her review class for LET and next day, she is to meet her class in the grade school she is serving in the community. She gets paid (as a teacher not as a nun) way much smaller than the salary she use to receive while she was working in the corporate world. Yes, after working for years in a big company, she later answered her calling to become a nun.
We spoke about a lot of things until both of us were almost sleepy. That moment, I decided to give her something – my book that I have in my bag.
She was surprised that a young man aged 26 (looking like 38 years old haha – her honest assessment before I revealed my age to which I just laughed and assured her I wasn’t offended) would actually write and publish a book.
“Thank you.” We capped off and conversation and dozed off.
Later on, we got connected on Twitter and Facebook. In one of her messages, she said this to which I am so thankful and inspired as well. The shadow of doubt that I sometimes feel about myself was exposed to light. She related,
“As I continue my readings in your book I reflect questions that you ask in the different episodes, I internalized, I got inspired, I laugh, I cried, I was able to relate some experiences in my life to yours and most of all I appreciate your brilliant mind, simplicity and generosity to share the given gifts that God bestowed on you. I am proud to say that you really inspired people in different walks of life no matter what domination, age and personality they have. Keep it up Bro. Chris.”
And in another post on Twitter, she had this:
Then today, I was so happy and grateful. I received from her a thank you card, a rosary, bookmarks and a bunch of wonderful books – the kind of books I was considering to buy some months ago. Here they are:
Thank you so much, Sis. Jess. This is so much more than the single book I gave you.
Thank you for all the encouraging words and prayers.
“Sis. Jess, I thank you so much. I pray for your healing and wellness. May God bless you.”
(If you are reading this, may I request you to pray for her as well. Speak words of healing and blessing for her, in Jesus’ name.)
Yes, God will bring the people to help, encourage, and inspire us along the way. They were lined up even before we get to know them. Meeting Sis. Jessica is a divine appointment. She continues to move me as well to keep on doing what I am doing, in guidance of the Lord, all for God’s glory.
“Thank you, Lord, for these divine appointments.”
Friend, prepare for surprises from God.
Live your life, young mind!