In a crowd the other day, I caught a glimpse of a man about five feet or so tall with that A familiar silver head of hair. Excitedly, I looked more intently in that direction, sticking my neck out, trying to pin him down with my eyes. Of course, my own hair stood on end, thinking, “Could it be Tatay?” How foolish of me to think that. Yet, it almost brought tears to my eyes as I experienced a tug of war between the excited anticipation of seeing a long-lost loved one and the sadness that crept in when I realized it could not be possible. I miss him!

I know it happens. Once in a while, I catch a whiff of someone’s familiar cologne with whom I associate that scent. I find myself in this melancholic mood, usually when I miss significant others in my life. A familiar tune to you, too, I am sure.

I recall once a friend told me how she wept in the supermarket at the sight of a can of sardines which happened to be her deceased father’s favorite brand. Sometimes, odd things do stir so much emotion in us, especially when we miss those we love.

It is such a normal thing to miss those we love. The ones we love become so much a part of our lives and our persons that when they are not there to share with us virtually anything or everything, we feel the pinch so badly. It even feels like we have a missing limb or, worse still, the pain in the heart we sometimes experience reminds us of a gaping wound pulsating in pain. Then matters worsen when we can’t seem to get hold of ourselves and do something significant and worthwhile, even to buffer the pain a little and distract ourselves. No doubt, these are difficult moments. We cannot help but sometimes wish that our loved ones could stay by our side as long as often as possible.

Our Mother, Mary and Saint Joseph were once in this predicament. They were journeying back to Nazareth with a group of travelers. They were confident that 12-year-old Jesus was with the rest of the teenagers toward the end of the bandwagon. To their surprise, when everyone had more or less arrived, Jesus was nowhere in sight. Can you imagine the shock, the fear, the worry they felt at this revelation? The agony was prolonged when days passed, and there was still no sign of Jesus, how they must have missed Him. It certainly was so unlike Him just to disappear that way. When they found Him, there came the profound message that this was to be the beginning of times when they had to detach themselves from Jesus because of the great task He had ahead. Yet understanding that reality does not diminish the reality of missing those we love. Understanding that a loved one has to go away even to go to work does not, in any way, diminish the whispers of the heart that if only you could spend every minute of the day with that precious someone, so much the better.

It is indeed tempting to cry or sulk in our little corners and justify all this by saying that we are grieving or that we cannot help feeling this emptiness because the one we miss is just too important to forget so easily. Then we keep wishing and praying that they come back to us or keep playing in our minds the wonderful memories of the past that sometimes have a way of surfacing into the conscious form somewhere in our subconscious without our permission. Undoubtedly, these memories can be so beautiful and consoling, but sometimes they pose as the very blocks that stop us from moving forward. Of course, if our wish could only be granted. If only there were no reality other than that togetherness or union with our loved one. Imagine if this were so, there would be no more sadness or grieving in this world. We would all be with all those we love forever. But that is not reality. Perhaps, the yearning is a foretaste of heaven. We can never really possess God while we are on earth. We have moments of great consolation when we feel His presence and love in those who love us, but even that is not forever.

Our prayer then cannot be for God to always keep our precious ones with us as it is even physically impossible. Our prayer ought to be that our love be so deep and so real that it has the power to go beyond time and space and any other physical or psychological limitations.

Try it sometime when you miss someone so badly. Try and lift that person almost physically on both hands to God and offer that person up to HIM. Pray for that person. Pray that that person will experience your support, joy, peace, comfort, and, yes, your love. Put yourself in complete abandon in the hands of God, holding on to your loved one, and watch God lifting both of you unto His bosom, and there, all three (or more) of you will be united. You are probably thinking it is such a strange thing to do. I can assure you that it is difficult sometimes. You cannot seem to lift yourself from the rut you seem stuck in. It is easier to cry, to get sentimental, to lick your own wound, and hold on to his hanky or other physical objects that remind you of your loved ones’ presence. That sometimes aggravates the situation. We all get stuck in the realm of the physical. The human mind remains unexplored. It is such a powerful tool. It is an infinite paradise of its own. You could actually go to your sacred places by using your mind. More than that: in the silence and magic of prayer you could reach God and stroll away and spend hours on end with those you love. You could even pay an abundant amount of energy, sending all the positive feelings and thoughts, charging your person with positive energy. Can you imagine how powerful all that positive energy can be for those we love? Instead of pulling them down in our loneliness and depression, we can soar high up in the sky with them. Try the spiritual realm that knows no bounds. Try turning to God, the best healer, the best lover, and the father who knows exactly the right balm or potion you need for a broken heart.

Jesus Our Light

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