“This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes.” - Ecclesiastes 7:29
Danilo (not his real name) was a devotee to Mary, the mother of Jesus. As a kid, he and his older brother actively joined each night the barangay, a community rosary prayer. When he was in first year high school, he joined the Blue (Marian) Army. His mother adored him because he was such a good child – pious, obedient, honest and studious. He was the white sheep of the family.
Yet deep inside Danilo’s heart, something was rotting. In the privacy of his room, he voraciously devoured x-rated magazines and comics, and intensely watched pornographic movies. He justified his sin when his conscience confronted him by rationalizing that, “Every man does it, I am half a man if I don’t”; “Doctor(?) said that it’s good to release some of my extra juices”; “I am just exercising my instrument in case I will have a chance encounter with a girl, can’t afford to be embarrassed”; “I’m just educating myself, I want my future wife to be fully satisfied”; “This is normal as breathing”; and other nonsense.
But soon Danilo changed. He learnt to lie. He began to curse. He gravitated towards people who talked about sex like it’s the only interesting topic in the world. He also felt shame. Deep inside Danilo knew that something wasn't right, but he no longer had the will to stop his free fall…Finally, he closed his eyes and embraced the fall.
The Bible says that God created man upright. According to an online dictionary, upright means honest, honorable and just. But where is honesty in government corruption? Where is honor in adultery? Where is fairness in taking advantage the poor and uneducated? What happened to the innately good man?
In the province of Surigao where my mother was born, the barangay road was sandwiched by rice fields. By April, both sides of the road turned golden yellow. I bet the color would be different had it not been for the hardworking farmers that took care of the crops.
In the same way, the innate goodness in man needs to be taken cared of by a great farmer – our Creator – so that it wouldn't change color from white to black. The health of the innate goodness of man is as fragile as a rice stalk, so it needs God's loving care, and healing due to the damages brought about by the daily test of life. But what if man refused the loving touch of His Creator? What if he runs away from Him?
In the absence of God, evil will flourish; the innate goodness in man’s heart will wither. If left untreated over time, his goodness could die, and from its remains would rise full-blown evil.
Danilo’s healing culminated on one Dec. night when God whispered to his heart, “You’re fighting alone”. He realized that he needed God’s mercy and love; his will power alone wasn’t enough. From there, he dumped his pride and sprinted back to God. Long before that night, Danilo made a 'weak' decision to return to God. But for God, it was enough.
Healing starts when we decide to take the first step back to God. His presence in our heart alone is all it takes to begin the healing of our brokenness. His presence alone can revive the dying goodness in our heart. It's not us, it's Him. And as seasons pass by, if we remain steadfast in Him our wounds will one day become no more. And we become truly good once again...like new born babies.