he air was quiet after the storm, some winds still pushing the scattered leaves around. You could hear the rustle of bushes once in awhile. It was a wonderful morning.
My ever-loyal aide-de-camp Ms. Goofy was there perched on the garden chair staring at a wandering cat across the street making some muffled barks when I came in.
“What’s wrong?” I asked as I looked around checking if she had taken her breakfast I left some hours ago. I looked in her direction and she instinctively looked back at me then towards that cat again. It was Katy’s granddaughter whom we named Hitler because of a small mustache right between her nose and lips. “Hit, come!” I called. She stopped and stared at me before hastily crossing the street and coming over to the porch. I gave her some catfood and she enjoyed it. Goofy was likewise elated at the site of how shall we call her, her niece?
I’ve been thinking of getting Goof a companion. Katy her assistant for the last year or so suddenly disappeared after giving birth to one boy and one girl kitten. Katy’s daughter on the other hand gave birth to six kittens and when all of them became full grown cats they started to find lives of their own. Once so often they’d drop by to say hello to Goofy and of course to me. It’s one grand reunion when unexpected circumstances bring all of our cats to the porch like what happened a few days ago.
I was there sitting at the porch with Ms Goofy on my lap when wonder of wonders I saw Hitler with her sister and Mom lying in the middle of the road enjoying the warm morning sun. I called out to them, “Hitler! pumasok nga kayo dito, isama mo nanay mo pati kapatid mo – masagsaan pa kayo jan!” (“Hitler, come here! Your Mom and sis too – you’ll be run over out there!”) Well, they scampered over to the porch and soon other members of our furry family suddenly appeared from nowhere. And this was the time my wife came to the porch to check on me. (She usually does this to see if I hadn’t suffered a stroke or whatever.)
“Walang hiya, ano ba to? Reunion? Saan galing mga yan?” Then she recognized Hitler. “Hitler, ikaw pala yan,” then looked at the others, “Mga kapatid mo pala sila, ang laki na!” (What’s this a reunion? Where did they all come from? Oh, it’s Hitler and the gang. How they’ve grown) Goofy was enjoying the company as she ran around the cats poking them with her paws here and there. It was a wonderful sight and I loved it. “Papasok na ako, magluluto pa ako,” said my wife. “Huwag ka ng magtagal jan at umaambon na,” (“I’m going in, have to prepare lunch. Don’t stay out too long, the rain’s starting.”)
As the party tapered off, our cats started to leave one by one. Hitler was the last to leave. I could see the sadness in Goofy’s eyes. She really missed company ever since Katy left. I reached out to her and she instinctively raised up both her arms. I picked her up and hugged her close. I comforted her, “It’s all right Goof, sometimes you’re happy and sometimes you’re not but we all have each other to make it work the best way we can, right?”
Still carrying Ms. Goofy who’s head was now nestled on my shoulder I slowly went to my office chair fronting the garden. We sat down as the drizzle turned to a mild shower. The ambiance was sad but the feeling was beautiful. My wife’s flowers swaying to each drop of rain as the smooth gust of wind embraced the air filling everything around with freshness and our hearts with unexplainable calm.
The most popular catch phrase we see these days –
“ALWAYS OBEY WITHOUT COMPLAINING”
“So then, dear friends, as you ALWAYS obeyed me when I was with you, it is even more important that you OBEY me now while I am away from you. Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation,”
“Do everything WITHOUT COMPLAINING or arguing,”
Philippians 2:12, 14 (Good News Translation)
That was from a page on Access The Truth. I checked out all the translations with the word complaining and there were a few – mostly newer translations like this Good News Translation, New Living Translation, Berean Study Bible, and a few others. But we’ll stick with the Good News Translation. The key word is “never” complain. If you’ll check out all of the translations possible the word used is “without”. So it is “without complaining ..” and not “never complaining ..” Do these two very simple words mean the same? Let’s check.
Merriam-Webster describes the word “ without” as – “used as a function word to indicate the absence or lack of something”
How about the word “never”? – “not in any degree :not under any condition“
It doesn’t appear to be the same does it? One is passive the other commands.
Let’s continue where the rest of the verses were left off. That’s verse 15 downwards, What does it say _
15 so that you may be innocent and pure as God’s perfect children, who live in a world of corrupt and sinful people. You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky, 16 as you offer them the message of life. If you do so, I shall have reason to be proud of you on the Day of Christ, because it will show that all my effort and work have not been wasted.
One of our dear friends PDC commented –
“Sa mga ganitong pangyayari diko talaga maubos maisip kung alin ba ang mas mahalaga: ang salita ba ng Diyos na ituturo ng ministro o ang ministro na magtuturo ng salita ng Diyos. …
In short, how do you synchronize the two? Which is more appropriate – the bible supporting your beliefs or making the bible support your beliefs?
We’ll leave this little forum with a reminder sent to us by one of our many dear friends –
“Mathew 23:1-3 Good News Translation (GNT)
Jesus Warns against the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees
23 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. 2 “The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees are the authorized interpreters of Moses’ Law. 3 So you must obey and follow everything they tell you to do; do not, however, imitate their actions, because they don’t practice what they preach.
Our biggest challenge then is how to deal … while still loving the church, Jesus Christ, and God our Father.”
Ms. Goof’s now fast asleep her tired head resting on my lap. I carefully lift her up and slowly bring her to bed. “Rest my dear friend,” I whisper, ” I will always be here,” and a peck to her forehead as I gently lay her down …