I was on my way home today when I noticed two children sleeping on the streetside while people pass them by. They were clad in ragged clothes,sharing a worn-out small blanket covering them as they soundly slept on a cardboard.The little girl and presumably her younger brotherlooked tired and oblivious to the surrounding. Even the heat of the sun. People who passed them by watched - most probably shared on common emotion at the sight: Pity.
Yet not one ever bothered to stop.I was tempted to walk away and go straight home because I was so sleepyand hungry yet but I thought that it couldn't hurt to take a closer look.Out of the blue, I just found myself bending on my kneesto wake them up to ask if they're okay. A lady who was probably one of the students in a nearby university bent beside me to look too.The little girl sat up, shaking the little boy beside her lightly. I asked where their parents are and she said that her mom died and they don't know where their father was.
The young woman beside me asked them who'staking care of them and the child said that their grandmother has been taking care of them but they couldn't get home because they had no transportation fare - the profit from the bananas that they sold did not suffice. Fortunately enough, she does know where her grandma is at.We told them to get up because we're bringing them to Jollibee (it's a fastfood restau Filipino version of McDonald's).
The children literally beamed. Every child wants Jollibee afterall!"This is going to be the first time that we'll eat here," the little girl said enthusiastically.You can never imagine how that statement touched me. I looked at Helena and she smiled back - perhaps equally touched as I was.We got the two children a hearty meal of chicken, spaghetti, mango pies and a chocomilk. Helena and I got ourselves some pancakes and corned beef.The kids grabbed the food in a heartbeat and I wondered when was the last time that they actually had a decent meal.
It made me tell myself onceagain that I should count my blessings.Helena, apparently, is a working student who came from a modest background that's why the sight of the two children sleeping on the streets had completely bothered her. She said that her family once went on days without eating rice -just cooking the leafy vegetables in their farm backyard until it wasn't enough.For me, the sight of these two children, hungryand lying in that cold cement was beyond pity. It was the thought that God gifted us with a sense of compassion for others as a beginning. How many of us feel compassion towards a homeless person...yet merely shaking our heads? Why not act upon that very essential emotion that God endowed us with?Our compassion for others remains useless if we merely settle at feeling the emotion, not acting on it.
No one is too broke or too weak to help another, afterall.Helena was strengthened by her experiences having given her the very essential empathy.She understood what these children felt because she experienced it herself. Amazing how our God works? Some of us might not understand why trials befall us...why some us need to go hungry...why some of usneed to be sick. Sometimes, we fail to realize that these obstacles are meant to turn us into better individuals - stronger, wiser, and more appreciative of what we have...eventually helping us understand the way to heaven."This tastes sooo good," the little boy smiled up at us."Because Jesus loves you," I smiled back, "
What is your name, little one?""Gabriel," he hesitated. Gabriel,
although he pronounced it as GAb-reyel.An angel.
The little girl's name is Joanna.Reminds me of Joan of Arc. ;)
Joanna is eight and the Gabriel, five.
When we finished eating, Helena volunteered to take the children home. We got them some take-outs to bring home and a small amount which I know would not suffice forever, but would help them now and today. I told Helena that I was so blessed to have met her...and she told me that she knows she'll see me again soon.I took a ride back home. A feeling of warmth washed over me. Today alone, I met not one, but three angels. I can't wait for tomorrow.I'll remember to include this in one of the bedtime stories that I will share with my children one day.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Compassion is a gift but it will be heaven if it is only a beginning."