By APPLE B. CRUDA
Once upon a time, I thought I wasreally ugly. This guy, however, kept on telling me that I was pretty. But I just couldn’t see what he saw in me. I ignored him.
WHEN I WAS a teenager, a mantold me that he’s in love with me.
And I couldn’t believe him. I
was like, “How could you love mewhen I’m not even beautiful?”At the time, I thought I wasreally ugly. This guy, however, kepton telling me that I was pretty. ButI just couldn’t see what he saw inme. I ignored him.But after a few days, he was
still there. He pursued me. Alas, I
wasn’t ready for a relationship. No,
let me rephrase that. The truth is, I
did not feel I was worthy to have arelationship with this guy, or withany other guy. So, I continued toignore him.
A couple of months
passed, and whoa, he was stillthere! I thought, “Crazy guy.He just doesn’t know what he’sgetting into.”
So, I confronted him, and
told him so. “Hey, stop pursuingme. You just don’t know whatyou’re getting into.”After that, I thought he’d goaway. A year passed, and wow, I
couldn’t believe it—he’s still there!
But I just didn’t feel worthy
of his attention. I continued to
ignore him. I continued living myown life without him. I did my ownthing. I enjoyed excursions with
my family, I enjoyed school, sports,
gigs with my friends, travelled to
various places.A couple of years passed, and
unexpectedly, this man was stillthere waiting for my Yes. And I waslike, “This man is insane!”Again, I told him, “Forget
about me because I don’t have any
plan of saying Yes to you. Can’tyou understand that?”And he goes, “Even if you
don’t love me yet, I still love you,
and will always love you. I loveyou with all of me. I will waituntil that day that you will sayYes to me.”That was lovely… if only I
felt the same. I fell silent. I didn’t
know what to say. A part of mefelt guilty, and another part feltastounded. How could anyonelove me so much when I don’teven like me?So again, I put the manon hold. I told him I didn’t wantto decide yet about going into arelationship with him.
Three years passed, and
he was still there. Nothing hadchanged. I was still living my ownlife, and I still thought he was just
Four years passed, he wasstill there. I told him, “Don’t wasteyour time on me. You’re just goingto get tired of waiting for myYes, because I will always justsay No.”This time, he was deadsilent. Was he getting mad at me?
But then, I still couldn’t care lessabout him.Another year passed. I
graduated from high school andstarted college. In the university,I met people who, again to mysurprise, told me I was beautiful.
One even told me I should join a
With these people’s
afrmation, my insecurities began
to fade a little.On my senior year in theuniversity, I said Yes-- to a boy in
school. He was in love with me,and so was I with him. He wasmy prince. I was his princess. Hewas my world, and so I thoughtit was the perfect relationship I’d
ever had.Then, that fateful day came.
He broke up with me. I was, to say
the least, devastated. I couldn’tsleep. I cried and cried until I hadno more tears. Still, my heart crieduntil I felt numb all over. I didn’t
care about living anymore…One afternoon, while I waswalking around the bend in theuniversity, the same man who washead over heels in love with me
approached me. He said, “Why
are you looking for your family?They’re far away from you. Whyare you looking for your friends?They have problems of their ownto x. Why are you still lookingfor your former boyfriend? He’s nolonger with you. Why? Am I notenough for you?”
He said, “I’m crazy for
you. I’m madly in love with you.You don’t see what I see. Youthink that I don’t know what I’mtalking about. Well, you’re wrong because I know everything aboutyou. I know your strengths andweaknesses. I know you haveaws, and I’m not expecting you to
be perfect. I understand your mood
swings. I know your dreams, andI’m here to support you all the way.
People may have left and betrayed
you, but I’m still here to show youthat you’re worth knowing, andI’m sticking with you. I’ll be your
companion, your best friend, your
everything. Won’t you say nowYes to me?”
Then, he stretched his arms,
and for the rst time, I saw theMan. I realized he’s real… as realas the cross behind him. For therst time, I realized his love for meis real. And I heard myself saying,“Yes, my Lord.”I was then only 19 yearsold when I said Yes to Jesus.
And my life has never been
the same. I began to seemyself the way Jesus sees me:
My dening moment all
came back to me as I listened tothe talk on our
Yes, I once felt unworthy. I once
felt ashamed of myself. But in this
series, I heard God’s comfortingwords:
Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth...
Actually, I remember the
shame. But I don’t have the feelinganymore… because it has been
erased by God’s unconditional
love for me which I savor to
LIVING WITH BORDERS.
JB Rodriguez and Carlo Lorenzodemonstrate how to set limits.Bro. Bo said there are twoendings to this skit:Ending 1: JB lets go of Carlo. Carlo is forced to swim for
his life. Both remain alive.
Ending 2: JB tries in vain
to pull up Carlo. Drained of his
strength, JB falls off the bridge
too. With no more support, Carlo
swims for his life. He lives. JBdrowns and dies.Bro. Bo concludes: 1)
When you help others, don’t
forget to help yourself. “Donot kill the goose that lays goldeneggs.” 2) Do it with a team. Don’tdo it alone. Delegate tasks.
Kristine Mutuc Photos by Arlene Batislaong and Gerald Gonzalez
Carlo and JB are on a bridge.Carlo depends on JB for his
survival by tying a rope aroundhis waist.
Carlo gives the end of the ropeto JB.
Alas, Carlo falls o the bridge
and holds on to the rope.
THE FEAST June 3, 2012