The Corner Table compiles articles with a Christian perspective. The following is the latest from this section:
“We all fall short” of God’s standard, the apostle Paul wrote in his epistle to the Romans. There is none of Adam’s seed who can boast of soundness or acceptability before God, he said. We all err, we all miss the mark, we are all in some way defiant and proud. We all fall short of God’s standard of righteousness. We can never, by our own doing, satisfy His just requirements, in spite of how good or charitable or sacrificial we are. Ultimately, Paul declared, we all remain sinners. We all fall short. Sadly, Paul added, “the wages of sin is death,” and every human being has naught to anticipate at life’s end but an eternity of anguish and acute suffering. This is just – for as sinful humans we deserve no better.
HE IS A GOD OF ORDER, and in His benevolence He enables humans to deal with our messes by “deputizing” us as agents of His authority. Thus, we are empowered to create structures that permit us to approximate the divine symmetry, as well as His harmony and peace. This is the idea, at least. Admittedly, it is an ideal not often achieved in this world. It only works perfectly if all parties are submitted to God – and by “submission” I mean not rote compliance with His commands but a plenary dedication of self to Him and His cause. It is a relationship of love whose fulcrum is the cross of Christ.
IT’S FINALLY OVER – I’m referring to the national canvass, of course. Can we stop now as well? I mean the deliberate, consistent pumping of the enmity that divides us. Can we have an end of this please? I am writing from a place of pain, you see. This election season has been the most vitriolic I’ve ever experienced. But more than the slander that erupted daily on my newsfeed, I was grieved by stealthier demons.
I WILL NOT write about politics this week. I lost a dear friend suddenly last Monday, and I am mourning.
Karen was more than a friend to me. She was a sister, a mother, a mentor, a cohort, the one who first made me feel that I was a person and not just a tag-along runt.
I met her when I was 12, and though she was 12 years my senior, she enjoyed my company and actually listened to what I had to say. That was a strange sensation. I group up in a family of opinionated adults who often interrupted me mid-sentence and did not notice if I continued talking or not. She actually stopped speaking to hear me; and for Karen, to stop speaking was no small thing.
MARCH DOES NOT come to me as it did in childhood when, at the end of schooldays, it heralded all gaiety. Those lighthearted yearnings no longer play in me like a child cavorting in a summer shower.
I lost my father in March. It has been three years and the grief no longer shocks like the peeling of skin from flesh; but the sensation of that separation remains and, I suspect, will be part of me till the end of my days.
The end of March also ushers in the commemoration of Christ’s passion. It is a time when many in the Philippines, “the only (nominally) Christian nation in Asia,” sober up and reflect on what it means to be sinners in need of a Savior.
MUCH HAS ALREADY been said on social media about Manny Pacquiao’s misguided statement on LGBTs and I feel no need to add to it. The rancor people hurled from their high horses over that fence called “righteousness” sincerely disturbed me.
Thankfully, I missed most of the ugliness as I was busy last week and could only post my usual daily Bible passage on Facebook.
BACK IN THE OLDEN days, the Filipino family prayed together, stayed together, and weathered the storms of life intact. There were exceptions to the rule, of course, but society didn’t dwell on them.
People got married and had children. If later the marriage foundered, the spouses ran a rope around the hull, kept it together “for the kids,” and sailed on.
MY PATERNAL GRANDPARENTS died days apart from each other two years before I was born. I never had the privilege of knowing them, though I am greatly honored to be connected with them.
A FEW WEEKS ago, after a sleepless weekend and a spectacularly tiring day, my husband and I chose to unwind at a trendy little bistro near home. The bright young thing who took our order seemed a bit confused, no surprise, but she brought us the correct meal, which was all right.
When we called for the bill, another bright young thing came and pleasantly asked us for our IDs. Why, I inquired, when we were paying with cash, not credit? She said our waitress had told her to because they were needed for the Senior Citizens’ discount.
The internet and social media have supplied us so many shortcuts that we find it easier now to communicate via “like,” meme, sticker, emoticon, and emoji than with words. Sometimes, even the graphic message is too much, and no response is given at all. It seems our very proximity mutes us.