In the past weeks, there have been a lot of wakes and funerals that our parents had to go to. My aunt said that it seems as if it’s never ending. Today, my professor asked me to go to a gathering they will hold tonight to just have dinner, but I was not able to go. He said that it’s his father’s babang luksa. I’m not familiar with this tradition even when I’m living in the Philippines. I looked it up and found that it’s celebrated after one year the loved one departed. In the Chinese tradition, we have this 49 days and 100 days. One is not allowed to cut or shave his hair for 49 days, and we had to wear white or dark colors, avoid the color red. Prayers are being chanted during the first 7 days so that the soul won’t lose its way. There is also a version of this in Filipino tradition, the pasiyam or prayers to guide the soul too and to make him/her aware of his/her death. My parents are going to the funeral ceremony for the passing of a really good doctor and father of my cousin’s husband. I also found out recently that my professor’s former companion in the house passed away due to leukemia, a misdiagnosis of the doctors who thought it was because of Pneumonia. My aunt’s officemate also passed away, I was told by my dad that this officemate’s mother is suffering from cancer and the father has Alzheimer’s. In a past entry I shared a passing of a distant relative. It’s sad really, and receiving news of deaths does plunge our emotions. We muster the courage and strength we could get, even when we’re hit again on the same spot. We learn that being there for the people we love means a lot. We realize that Jesus experienced pain and suffered on the cross to save us from our sins. Our faith is tested, and we hang on to its wings or just rely on it to let everything take its course.
The Reality of Faith
If it is true that a picture paints a thousand words, then there was a Roman centurion who got a dictionary full. All he did was see Jesus suffer. He never heard him preach or saw him heal or followed him through the crowds. he never witnessed him still the wind; he only witnessed the way he died. But that was all it took to cause this weather-worn soldier to take a giant step in faith. “Surely this was a righteous man.”
That says a lot, doesn’t it? It says the rubber of faith meets the road of reality under hardship. It says the trueness of one’s belief is revealed in pain. Genuineness and character are unveiled in misfortune. Faith is at its best, not in three-piece suits on Sunday mornings or at V.B.S. on summer days, but at hospital bedsides, cancer wards, and cemeteries.
(Max Lucado’s Grace for the Moment)