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psyche-thumbby Kit Nemenzo Balane

It’s time of lent again. Let me share a beautiful experience with my sons.

After their graduation and moving up day at Bohol Child Head Start, they went home to Tubigon together with my in-laws while my wife and I left for Cebu to attend an important event.

My two boys were ecstatic. They did not mind that their parents would not be with them. All they saw was the great adventure awaiting them: swimming, kite-flying, meeting old friends, biking, running around, and more running around.

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They know very well that these times only come once in a while. Unlike in the city where their playground is the sala and the bedroom, there they had all the space they need and all the places to go without worry of any danger. And so they always looked forward to these days.

True enough, they easily got lost in their whole new environment. They did not think of anything but their play. No mention of Daddy or Mommy for the first three days. They were oblivious of our absence and they did not care. They did not know that we, their parents, were silently thinking and missing them.

On the third day, something happened. During their wash up time after a long day of play, the older one just blurted out, “Where are Daddy and Mommy?” And when the yaya told him that we were still back home, he said he missed us. And he held back tears. But the younger one gave out, he openly cried.

Their remaining days, while still busy during the day, were now filled with longing to go home when night time comes. Finally, after five days, our reunion was like we did not see each other for years. When they arrived, they immediately got out from the car and ran towards us and hugged us so tightly. The oldest again cried and said he missed us so much. As a father, it was such a heart-rending moment that I will treasure forever.

I can’t help but think of our lives in terms of my sons’ experience. When the sun is up and bright, and there is so much to explore around us, we get lost in our play, in our work, in our engagements, sins, worries and all,  and we get oblivious of our Father. All we care is how to live. We forget that He is secretly thinking about us and is missing us so much.

This can go on for days and years even. But there comes a time, especially when our energies are spent up, we remember and start to miss God. When the sun is down and darkness envelopes the sky, when it is time to wash up the day’s dirt, we get to see that at the core of our being is our desire to be home and to be with our Father again.

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And so we begin to miss our closeness. We begin to miss His presence. We begin to realize that after everything settles down, we only need the Father and His embrace. And so we again seek Him and we long so much to be embraced by Him again. And when we go back home, we can’t stop but value more what we have lost for a while. And we embrace so tightly and cry for joy.

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We all, in one way or another, gets so excited and so caught up in this temporary shelter we call earth. To satisfy our curiosity and exercise our freedom and independence, we venture farther and farther away from home and forget that what we truly seek is not out there. What we truly need has been really with us all along.

This lent is an invitation to come home. This is to experience the night, be washed up, and dig deep into that loneliness that only God can satiate.  It is an invitation to cry and acknowledge that we miss God. That with all the trappings of worldly pleasure, nothing and no one can really satisfy our deep longing for peace and love but only God. That somehow, we’ve been away for too long and that He has been waiting for us to come home again.

And yes, what an embrace awaits us.

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P.S. Come, enroll your kids in the school where they are embraced as they are. Visit Bohol Child Head Start or call 416-1248/09295571136. You can also logon to www.boholchild.com for further information.

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