"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


"A father carries pictures where his money used to be." ~ Anonymous

My best friend sent me a link over the weekend of an online show where two men animatedly and passionately discussed Christ's love and suffering. On how we focus so much on the cross as the image of his suffering but that the truth of the matter is that he suffered everyday throughout his life against temptation out of love for each one of us.

There was one part in the clip where they said that if God the Father had a wallet, your photo would be on it. I got a bit teary eyed while watching that bit, partly because it's awesome to think of God the Father that way - that He has my photo in His wallet and talks about me to others with love and pride. Partly too because I needed to hear it after just coming back from my trip home.

(Home and family stress has a way of sucking out a lot of my energy and resolve. I reckon a lot of overseas Filipinos get that when they visit home. I am certainly no exception. I find I am constantly weighing what I can emotionally take on, what I am responsible for, and what is not within my control. There's also that balancing act of wanting to help but can't, and wanting to give but knowing deep inside that it won't serve a good purpose and will just feed into a dysfunction.)

It also touched me - that bit about my photo in God's wallet - because my dad is exactly like that. Which I think is not very different from most dads. I reckon a lot of fathers have their children and grandchildren's photos in their wallet. But Pa really makes it a point. He actually laminates our photos so that they don't get any wear and tear and whips them out to show anyone who cares to listen to his stories.

Today, my dad turns 70 years old. And as we enter the bonus years, I find myself filled again with inexplicable gratitude to God that Pa is with us in relative good health, lucid and still doing the work he loves and being the doting grandfather to his grandsons.

I am thankful too that Pa's love, the love that is the most constant and undeniable that I have ever had the honor to receive in my life, the one I have never come to doubt, has helped shape the faith I have in a Father who loves me in the same unceasing manner.

But most of all today, as Pa turns 70, I am so very grateful that his photo is in God's wallet. As it should be.

Bless Pa today. If you can, call him to greet him. He loves the attention. :)

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