Jose was the son of a poor but proud farmer in a little barrio. In spite of their poverty, Jose’s father was firm in his decision never to sell the small parcel of land, which he inherited from Jose’s Lolo, where their little Nipa hut was standing even when most of their neighbors already sold theirs, and settled in the more progressive towns. His father was also adamant that his son should go to college even if he had to crawl on the ground to see this through.
After Jose graduated from high school his father sent him to the big city to study. Though he knew that his father had to break his back to support him, Jose did not decline; he dreamed of becoming a teacher. Jose threw himself into his studies with dedication, and went home only during summer breaks. Each year he came home, his father’s hair grew a little whiter as more wrinkles dashed across his once proud face; his once straight and sturdy body bent a little bit forward as bones emerged where prominent muscles used to be. What disturbed Jose more was that while his father smiled every time he was around, he lost a twinkle in his eyes. Deep in his heart Jose wanted to help his father, but he could not give up his dream, not now that he was getting closer to it. So with a heavy heart he left his father for his third year in college.
Everything went well, just like the previous years, until Jose met Jessica, a beautiful and sexy nursing student. Immediately, Jose fell head over heels for her. Unfortunately, Jessica was a drug addict, and it did not take long for Jose to be drawn into her tumultuous world – boozing, taking drugs, premarital sex, cutting classes, stealing, etc. Ultimately, Jose stopped schooling when he used the tuition fee money his father sent to him to buy cocaine for both of them. He didn’t tell his father for he knew that the news would break his father’s heart.
One day while in the department store, Jessica pick-pocketed and both of them got caught. Jessica was so mad at Jose, and blamed him – he got nervous – why they got caught. Right there and then, Jessica broke up with Jose, and disappeared for good. Realizing his terrible mistake, Jose went back to his barrio; he was ready to beg for his father’s forgiveness if he had to. But when he arrived in their little Nipa hut, his father was not there. Instead, his father’s best friend met him, and handed him a letter.
“Dear son. By the time you read this letter, I am already gone. Early this year I was diagnosed with cancer and was given only six months to leave. I was worried that you might not enroll for the next school year, so I chose not to tell you last summer. Don’t worry about your expenses for the next school year, I sold my father’s land and deposited the money in the bank. This should be enough to sustain you until you finish your studies. I am so sorry that I could not be there to attend your graduation. Though I haven’t said this to you before, I only have two treasured possessions after your mother died: my father’s land, and you my son. But you are my most cherished. Love, Papa.”
Jose sunk to his feet, and cried inconsolably as the sitting sun cast a shadow of his father’s Nipa hut.
God is our Heavenly Father, and He loves us so much. But God is also just and holy; He will not let evil deeds go unpunished. When misfortune falls upon you, do you look deep inside and you to see how you offended God and confess or do you hide your sin and blame others for it. Do you repent for your sin or do you regret being caught?
PS: When we sinned, we not only offended an Almighty God, but we also hurt a loving Father whose plan for us is all good and beautiful.