Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Boys on the Hill

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;
Make the most of every opportunity
Colossians 4:4

I wish I could say that I was purposeful in what I did that perfect Sunday afternoon while in Binangonan, Rizal, Philippines last week. In light of what the verse says, it would be great if I could say I was intentional in my actions. NOT SO. Our walk up that hill was pretty random. Our host suggested it while she swam so Eng, Ethan, and I, slowly strolled up the road. The house we were in had a magnificent panoramic view of the countryside already but we were told the view was even better from the top so off we went. On the way up, I noticed a group of boys squatting animatedly on the sidewalk. Since I wasn’t from there, I thought it odd that they were there but I tried not to think much about what they were doing. It did pique my curiosity. What WERE they doing? I allowed my eyes to look at theirs and wondered if they’d make eye contact. They did! They were a friendly bunch of seven boys who looked like they were just enjoying their hanging out time.

I felt around my pockets to see if there was anything I could bless them with. Nothing, my pockets were empty. I picked a bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms on my way out the door so it was all I had on me. It’s a type of M&M I haven’t tried so I popped one in my mouth. Mmm, it was good. Dare I offer it to them? I surprised myself when I heard my voice say, “Would you like some M&Ms?” in Filipino. Almost all the heads nodded vigorously so I proceeded to put 3 pieces of the round chocolate on each outstretched hand. I got a little nervous that not everyone would get 3 pieces but I got to the last hand with two pieces still left in the bag. Whew, I gladly ate those and smiled at them when they thanked me as I hurriedly followed Eng and Ethan up the hill.

The view was lovely and the wind refreshing so we took pictures. We were in such a beautiful spot. Save for two other ladies and the seven boys who were now halfway down the hill, we were on our own. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

A short while later, we turned around to head back to the house we were at. It was then that I saw the seven boys heading towards our direction. Home to them was the opposite way. Eng and Ethan walked ahead as they heard me address the young ones. I asked them their names, ages (between 10 and 12 – like my sons’ ages), and what they wanted to be when they grew up. I also asked if they knew the God who wanted to bless them with M&Ms that day. =) They told me that someone would sometimes go to their neighborhood and tell them Bible stories. Soon we were talking about why Jesus died on the cross and how when Peter kept looking at him during a storm, he was able to do the impossible and walked on water. As soon as Peter looked at the waves around him, he sank. I then said that at some point in their lives, they will experience hardships but if they keep looking to Jesus and not to their situations, they would do the impossible too. Their faces lit up as I told them not to forget to talk to others about God just like we were doing. I said God would be faithful to them and answer our prayers that day. It was their job not to forget Him and His goodness.

After our prayers, we all felt joy in our hearts. I kissed and hugged them goodbye. They kept thanking me and as they disappeared at the crest of the hill even yelled “I love you!” They knew it and I knew it, God touched all of us that day. We probably won’t ever see one another again on earth, we didn’t exchange numbers, but I know that someday we’ll revisit in heaven and talk about the rest of their lives and our time on top of the hill.

If that could happen to me and I didn’t even plan it, how much more exciting and wonderful would those times be when we make the most of every opportunity. God would never cease to fascinate us if we allow Him to. Would you try?

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