First Memory

 

I want to remember and not forget my first memory in life. Sunny day, small footsteps side by side with the slow strides of my mother as we walked to playschool. The place was near our home, it was more a nursery than a school. Children frolicked, sang songs, and ate snacks together.

As I look back, it might be the act of walking that has engraved an indelible mark upon my memory and my heart. For while on our way, I remember trying to catch up with Mother’s pace.

I don’t remember what I was thinking then. From this earliest memory of childhood, I cannot remember mother’s words, only my hand in her hand as we tread the dusty and uphill path from our house to the brown, unpainted shack with a rusty roof, but its windows had curtains. If you ask me how I felt, though, I can tell you. I felt loved. I felt secure.

My earliest memory is couched on a sunny day. I love that I still seem to feel the warmth of her hand and the sun on my skin. And the cool breeze in that mountain region, yeah — bliss. I thank God for being entrusted with this memory.

Promise

The promised heirs are the heirs of promise. They dwell in the land of the covenant new.
Where Jesus lives in the hearts of His people, and His Word in their hearts holds true.
The vintage Wine overflows from their cups, and the good Bread is broken everyday.
Jesus eats and sups with them as they follow Him on the Way.
The promised heirs are the heirs of promise be they Gentile or pure blooded Jew —
and by faith, dear friend, through Jesus Christ, partake of the blessings, too.

RVM, july 21, 2010

let Jesus shine

In celebrated high-profile cases among the rich, famous, and powerful segments of the population, the witnesses become well-known themselves. They, too, inevitably share the spotlight. There’s always an advantage in popularity/notoriety.

But in witnessing for Christ, Jesus shines, not the witness. In fact, the witness “ceases”, while Jesus “increases”. The Holy Spirit subdues the witness completely that the latter is moved to ask for nothing else but to bear his cross in shame for the glory of his Master.

Let the eyes of men be drawn to God, not to the human instrumentality. May our light so shine that people see Jesus shine and glorify Him. Nothing we do as followers of God will ever matter, save that which we do for Him, which primarily is to make His work on the cross, and His triumph on the third day, shine in everything that we do.

rvm
20 july 2010

The Doodler, the Dabbler, the Drama

I was only five years old when I got into trouble because I told my teacher what my mother and her co-parents had been saying about their observations of her (my teacher’s) not-so-nice demeanor. Call it a traumatic experience (I think so, too…) but a lot of times, what I have become (silent/melancholic) has saved me from unnecessary skirmishes and hair-pulling incidents that my contemporaries easily get into.

I became this monster — one who wouldn’t speak unless spoken to, and one who’d rather write her thoughts than speak them out. Being on silent mode most of the time developed my observation muscle — I have become a keen perceiver of people’s behavior. That’s nice, but not until I realized I have leveled-up into another type of monster — the silent and perceptive/intuitive pen-wielding type who’d live and die a recluse given enough encouragement from embittered old maids.

Teaching kids taught me to loosen up a bit and have fun. Working with marginalized groups also taught me to speak for others who cannot speak for themselves. I learned to write with a purpose, and I learned to write with passion. I learned to read the Word of God and to understand the creative divine process as He makes things beautiful in His time.

At times I am reprimanded for being lazy, sullen, mean, scared, melodramatic, overly emotional, apathetic, detached, careless, cranky, impatient, tactless, sloppy, mundane and a combination of all of these, but I am learning… Indeed, I am a work-in-progress, but by God’s grace, I am getting there.

I feel weird when I don’t have a pen and paper inside my bag, or when bereft of any device or gadget on which to write/record/save my thoughts. – rvm

Tears of Praise

In times like these
I know God remembers
In times like these
I know He is Love
He is my Hope and my Refuge
And I’m never alone
In times like this
He sits on His throne.

When the moments of sorrow
And moments of rain
And the looming tomorrow
Are scaring me again
When the moments of darkness
Assemble all fear
There’s doubt in the air
In times like these.

But in times like these
He is my Tower
In times like these
My Solace and Shield
He is greater than any burden
He is better than fear
He is my God
Also in times like these.

When the strength of my youth
Is challenged by decay
And the best of my years
Fades swiftly away
The uncertainties and dangers
Of every day
Bring me to my knees
In times like these.

When the Word became flesh
He knew times like these
And in His frail body
He felt times like these
Oh my Savior, Redeemer
Help me bear this cross
This heavy cross
In times like these.

ruth v. mostrales
june 14, 2010

to all who are reading this poem, please pray for my niece who might face a delicate operation this early point in her life. thanks and God bless you all. – rvm

June 10, 2010

Father, I cry out to You.

Enlighten me with the knowledge of Your Word though it is blurred by these tears while I read it.
Teach me the faith that made the martyrs bold.
Show me thy beauty that, when the feeble saw it, made them strong.
Guide me as I look at the Way before me, help me to see your footsteps as I go.
And, as I move forward, let me not look back except to behold Your Son upon the cross, and Your Son resurrected on the third day.
I am nothing without Him, LORD, I am nothing on my own.
May You teach me to continue to trust in You when it is easier to doubt.
May I choose to remain in the narrow path and forsake the way that leads to destruction.
Help me to wait on You, and do this with joyful expectation because Your promises are true and You can be counted on.
Teach me how to love the way Your Son loved, and to hate every deed that You abhor.
Let me love my neighbor as I love myself, and let me place You above all.
And should I falter be patient with me…
Restore me and let me delight in Your chastisement.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Halleluiah in Another Tongue

I have a feeling I don’t belong here.
My eyes have been accustomed to this milieu
but my feet are itching to walk a street beyond this.
It is a realm with a voice, no, voices, calling out to me,
with a thick accent, like the roots of the trees on uncharted,
unreached places some people have conceptualized to exist —
I see them, I know them, but I have yet to pack, and leave and go.
On those silent moments, I hear His call, with a language I cannot
situate in a map, or equate with a people, but yes, they breathe, and
yes, they are. When God looks at this speck of me, they are seen, too.

I have feeling this is not my home, for in my dream, I will die in another
place, in another’s arms, not here, where I was cradled from my childhood,
my girlhood hammock. Who would ever think I would have to outgrow a shell
that so far has restricted me from spreading wings I never thought till now, I had,
which takes me to that place. I have yet to know its name, yet to understand how.

That thick accented voice speaks a language I have yet to learn, though I know it so well. It calls on me, reminds me of another call I have learned to understand painfully, not without hesitation, until submission was easier than assertion of a right I do not have, will never have. In that place, I will sing a new song in another language and learn to relate the story with conviction, as if it were, originally my own language I was speaking. There I would learn a lullaby in another tongue, and say “Halleluiah!”, and my brothers will hear their voice in mine.

Ordinary Great Day

It’s an ordinary day, too ordinary,

but it’s a great day to praise the Lord.

I woke up, I ate my breakfast and I said,

“Hello…” to the guard.

Though run-off-the-mill, un-extraordinary,

it’s a great day to praise the Lord.

I do not seek miracles to stun me,

(I’ve seen enough done in my life);

but if God’s grace exceeds expectations

again, in my heart, there’s room for enough.

But today is an ordinary day, and nothing

seemed to happen… I smiled at familiar faces

that responded in familiar ways — those things

that we do without even thinking, like blinking.

But all in all you could call it an ordinary day —

an ordinary great day to praise the Lord.

Though others complain, I am constrained

That it’s the best day to praise the Lord.

Where Hats Go

I’ve let go the need to know why
for you know better than I.

 

 

I have learned to speak with the Wind.
He responds with beauty, with words
courageously unfettered but not sans

form, unlike men. He hears me, even as I
mumble scores of incoherent shouts for
freedom which only the Wind and heart

comprehend. There must be a wind in me
which sways with It, or perhaps, a wheel, as
a turbine works well with flowing water.

I have learned to follow It from east to west
and believe that He clutches to His breast
seeds that make the fruits grow in forests

and fields and in the ancient verses and
prose in the preparation of the coming
harvest of souls. Today, I met a young lark.

I told him about the Wind, but he laughed
at me. As if on cue, the wind swiped off the
hat from my head. Off the straw flew to

where the Wind blew. I chased what I would
be divested and deprived of. The young lark,
holding on to his, couldn’t fly with only a wing.

“Where did the Wind take your hat and go?”

he asked. I couldn’t quite answer if it was a place
or a time or a time and place like this one though
I am there and not there. I will find myself in that

destination, soon, and them who didn’t hold on to their
hats and rings and scepters, but spread their wings to
embrace the Wind and lose such hats and other stuff

to gain more.

March 27. 2010