“The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.” ~ Be My Escape by Relient K
I would be lying if I told you that there was never a time when I thought that God was unfair. Ilang beses ko nang na-question si God about the things in life – in this world – that seems not quite fair.
Nabalik yung thoughts na yun noong mauwi ako ng Baguio recently.
Even now, nasesense ko pa din yung bigat ng pakiramdam over an incident I encountered with my sister.
Sa mga hindi nakakaalam, I have a sister named Janna Rica Alonzo – si Bebang. She’s eleven years old. And she’s adopted – that fact is actually an open secret. Ask her directly, and if she’s in the mood and she’s comfortable enough with you (which is most likely, because she tends to be comfortable with everyone), she’ll give you the full play-by-play kung paano siya naging isang Alonzo.
Pwede ko ilathala ang lahat ng details kung paano siya naging part ng family namin. Pero I won’t. Masyadong mahaba. Masyadong madrama.
For the purpose of this blog, all you need to know is that hindi nakakalakad si Bebang. Nakuha namin siya at 1 year old and 9 months and from that time – even after two major surgeries and hours and hours of physical therapy – up to now, hindi pa rin siya nakakalakad.
Naniniwala ba kami na makakalakad pa siya? Oo naman.
Pero ngayon, naka-wheelchair si Bebang.
Over the past few years, naging issue ang hindi paglakad ni Beb. Tuwing uuwi ako ng Baguio, hindi mawawala na pagsabihan ko siya na mag-diet para pumayat at mas makapag-exercise. Hindi mawawala na pagsabihan ko siya na laging ipag-pray na makalakad siya. Hindi mawawala na i-remind ko siya na hindi laging mabubuhat siya ni Daddy, at pag dumating ang araw na yun at hindi pa rin siya makalakad, pano na? Dun na lang siya sa bahay forever?
To you, it may seem that I’m being insensitive and mean to my sister. I, on the other hand, didn’t see it that way. My point was to drive it in to her mind that if she wanted to walk, she had to do something about it. It wasn’t going to happen magically. I wanted her to desire it and really strive toward it – something na hindi ko nakikita sa kanya kasi hindi pa din siya mapigilan sa pagkain at hindi pa rin nage-effort mag-practice sa paglalakad.
Sunday night, I was in Baguio, and my sister and I had a discussion. Matinding usapan ito. Makabagbag-damdamin. Nakakapagod.
Actually, mahabang kwento. Basta ang dating is sinabihan ko siya ng something like this: “Walang pupuntahan ‘tong usapan natin. Pumasok ka sa kwarto, kausapin mo muna si God, tapos usap tayo pag ok ka na.”
Nag-away kasi sila ni Mama. Ako yung mediator. Eh paikot-ikot na lang sila. Kaya yun.
Sumunod naman ang Bebang. Pumasok sa kwarto at humagulgol. Rinig na rinig naming yung mga sinabi niya kay God.
Pagod na siya. Nahihirapan na siya.
“I did my part naman, pero bakit hindi pa din ako nakakalakad?”
A lot of the things she said on her prayers were things na hinding-hindi ko maisip sabihin kay God noong 11 years old ako. Ang mga linyang, “Pagod na ako. Nahihirapan na ako,” ay mga katagang nasabi ko lang kay God noong independent working girl na ako (meaning, uh… now).
Noong nahimasmasan na si Janna, pinuntahan niya ko sa kwarto nila Dad. May meeting sa church si Mama at Papa noon kaya kami lang ni Beb ang nag-usap.
Marami kaming napag-usapan. Here are some snippets from our conversation:
“Did you really do your part?” Tanong ko sa kanya.
“I prayed naman eh.” Sabi niya.
“Nag-diet ka ba? Nag-exercise ka ba?”
“So did you really do your part?”
“Bebang, whether you admit it or not, you didn’t do your part. Naghihintay ka na magka-miracle at bigla ka na lang makapaglakad nang wala kang ginagawa.”
“I admit it. Ganun na nga.”
“Di pwedeng ganun. Walang mangyayari sayo. Kailangan you do your part.”
“Di mo kasi ako naiintindihan eh.” – Bebang
“Hindi nga. Not completely. Si God lang ang fully na makaka-intindi sa ‘yo. Pati sa akin.”
“Eh bakit sabi ni ate Maean ‘she understands me’ daw?”
“Palagay mo pag nakita niya ung mga reaction mo kanina, maiintindihan niya kung bakit ka nagka-ganun?”
“Si God lang makakaintindi sa ‘yo – sa kahit kanino – ng buong-buo.”
“Pag kasi nalaman nila na adopted ako, ok lang sa kanila na asar-asarin ako.”
“Walang kinalaman ‘yun sa pagiging adopted mo. Mapang-asar lang talaga ang mga bata. Inaasar rin nila ako noong bata ako. Na-bully din ako noon. Ang iba lang is kung inaasar ka nila na ampon ka. Pag ganun, isumbong mo sa akin o kaya kina mama.”
“KSP kasi ako. Kulang sa pansin. Hindi na kasi ako cute. Malaki na ako. Kaya trinatry ko na lang i-appreciate sila para mapansin nila ako. Pero I mean it naman. Ayoko kasi na mapagsabihan na nambobola lang ako.”
I can empathize with Janna. My heart goes out to her.
And even I am asking God the same questions that she is asking.
Bakit ganun? He’s all powerful, loving, kind and merciful. One word from Him, makakalakad na si Janna. Why? Why doesn’t He just make her walk?
Another thing… Why is it that, even in her young age, she needs to come into terms with realities that most only fully grasp in their adulthood? Realities like the necessity to become dependent on God? Realities like the fact that there are times when no one will understand you – only He can? Realities like situations where there are seemingly no answers to your most heartfelt questions and it is only your faith that you have a good and loving God that will carry you through?
She’s eleven years old and it seems unfair that she’s going through all these things – this early in life.
I know that all of this will make sense someday. Janna will grow up to be a living testimony of God’s grace one way or the other.
But today, it just feels heavy. And sad. And hard. And well… unfair.
Author/Founder at Almond Tree Publications
Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.