This is the original manuscript written on Sept 2010 after a heated argument with my friend.
A short story about sexual purity and grace loosely based on a true account. Names have been changed.
When I learned about what she did, my world broke down into pieces. But it also opened my eyes to my own foolishness and the religious arrogance brought about by perfectionism.
“Tell me your just joking.” I said in a trembling voice as I gripped the steering wheel. The cold air inside the Mazda3 can not contain the burning anger I feel inside.
“I wish I’m just joking. I wish it were all just a joke. But… but it’s not.” Her voice started to crack. She could hardly look at me as tears well up her eyes.
I looked out of the window to avoid seeing her tears. I can’t bear to see her face. I can’t believe that the face I likened to an angel, so pure and innocent could have committed that kind of sin.
“Since when?” My voice started to crack, too. But I tried to sound firm.
“H-he just forced me…”
“SINCE WHEN?!!” I accidentally hit the car horn as I repeated the question. I don’t want to hear her explanations and lame excuses. The horn’s noise echoed through the almost empty basement parking of Robinson’s Galleria, breaking the hollow silence of that evening.
“F-four months ago.”
“How many times did you commit it? Twice…thrice?” This time I was raising my voice.
“ I… I lost count.” She’s said between sobs.
I can’t believe what I just heard from her.
No matter how I tried, it just won’t sink in. I don’t know how I would react.
Will I feel angry? Should I?
Do I have the right?
Maybe I do, we somewhat, made a promise. And she broke it.
I feel betrayed, I feel disappointed. I feel pain.
But I also feel sad for her. I can feel her pain… and guilt.
“Pinilit ka lang? Ang daming beses nyo nang ginawa tapos sasabihin mo pinilit ka lang? Huwag mo nga akong bilugin, hindi ako kahapon lang pinanganak!!’ I finally reached the end of my self-control.
“Bernadette, we made a promise. We promised to keep ourselves sexually-pure until marriage. It was not just a vow between us, but also with God. Pero sinira mo yun. You betrayed that vow, and our friendship.”
I know I was condemning her. I know I was hurting my friend, a friend who I loved more than I would love my sister.
But that time, I really intended to condemn her. I really wanted her to feel the pain. Of how disappointed I was. All that I can think of was how I feel about it. I can’t even tell why I’m reacting that way, yeah, maybe I was over-reacting.
That was the last time I talked to her. I felt like she doesn’t even deserve the friendship, the respect, the love.
That bitterness grew. That incident made me bitter. It affected me terribly, even my prayer life. I felt my prayers are no longer reaching the gates of heaven, that He won’t listen to me anymore. So I blame her even more.
Until one day… He entered my room, and sat down at the edge of my bed.
“What’s wrong?” He asked in a low voice.
Naiinis ako sa kanya dahil nagfall sya. She’s a leader, she should know what’s right or wrong.
Tell me, does being a church leader make you immune to falling into temptation? When you became a youth leader, did you become immune to temptation or sin?
“No… But she’s a leader.” I defended.
And she’s human, just like you.
But Lord, naiinis ako kase she committed a grave sin against you. I believe this is holy anger.
I appreciate the concern, but it is I who was offended, not You. It’s between Me and her, not you. Her sins are my issues, not yours to be concerned about.
Sorry Lord, but I still feel naiinis.
That’s the problem with most Christians. Specially in the case of leaders. You subconsciously think highly of yourselves. That you are somewhat elevated to a pedestal, compared to the “unsaved”. In your prideful heart, unknown to you, you sometimes take pride in being “made holy”, and therefore are more deserving than others. And when some of you fall from that elevated pedestal, into the mire from where I rescued you, you despise them and disown them and declare them not amongst you. A penalty for soiling that “holy reputation”.
Besides, I dont think that’s the only reason. Do you really want me to bring it to light?
(Then He helped me realize.)
Naiinis ako kase…
Kase, bakit sya, bakit sila, pwedeng magkasala?
(I dont know how, but I felt in my heart that he smiled.)
There you go. You are irritated because you feel cheated. You feel cheated, as if sinning is something you so wanted to do, but you are not allowed to do. Then you discovered some of your brethrens have committed a sin against Me. You feel its not fair, am I right?
I guess so. But why is it, that based on your reactions today, You sound like it’s OK for you that they sin? I was expecting You’d be angry and punish them for their sins.
My Child, I always hated sin, I always am angry at the sins men commit. But my love for my people, is far too great. And sometimes, I allow men to fall into their sins so they will have a firsthand experience of my grace and mercy.
“It’s unfair. I have always tried to keep your laws, now they sinned and you are treating it lightly?”
Pwede mo rin namang gawin yun eh. I have given you free will. It’s your choice if you wanted to commit those sins that you so wanted to do.
“Huh?? Ok lang sayo?”
I did not say OK lang sa akin. You know I hated sin. What I’m saying is if you feel like sinning is something that is being denied of you, as if it is your right and that you are being deprived of that right, then by all means go and do what is pleasing in your eyes. But remember that you will be held accountable for all you would do.
Yun na nga eh,I’m afraid to sin against you because I fear the consequences.
If you will remain in that kind of mindset, that you will try not to sin because you fear the consequences, pero kung walang consequences sisige ka, then you will always find yourself in a struggle between your flesh and My Spirit, which is living inside of you.
Be holy for I am holy. Strive to be holy, not just because you fear Me, but because you love Me. Unless you have a loving relationship with me, and unless that relationship with me continues to grow each day, then you will never escape the vicious cycle of sinning-repentance-sinning-repentance. That is because that cycle is being driven with fear, not love.
“Ok.” I sighed. Was there ever a time I won an argument with Him?
“Last question, will you punish her?”
If I do or if I don’t, what is that to you? I deal with my children individually and uniquely.
Carry your own cross and follow me.