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Honour your father and your mother

I HAVE A DREAM. Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long…….” Compare with Ephesians 6:2,3.

Friday, early morning I could not sleep for an hour and a half so I was just reading a book. Then I fell asleep again until 7 o’clock. I woke up crying, literally tears in my eyes because I had a very vivid dream. As though it was so real. So beautiful, so passionate, yet a very emotional experience. In my dream, I was standing somewhere thinking about my life. I said that I had a blessed life and a good life. Financially I was okay. I do not know whether I was in the Philippines or here in Australia. Then I saw my father looking at the horizon, deeply thinking of something (he was always like that in real life, a quiet man, a deep thinker and always concerned about how he could provide for his family). I walked closer to him. I said to him, “Tatay, I think you have done everything for us, so that we could have a better life.” I looked at him and I said to him again, “Tatay, don’t worry about your old age, when you grow old I will look after you.” Then he hugged me and started crying. He was so happy that he had that assurance that in his old age someone would look after him. So we hugged each other and we cried and cried. Then I suddenly woke up with tears in my eyes (this is real, no longer a dream) and my wife Annie woke up too and I told her I had a dream and I was still crying and crying and she touched my face and my tears. Then I said to my wife, while tears were flooding my cheeks “I have never served my father or looked after him because I left my home when I was 19 and went to Manila and my younger brothers were the ones who helped him on the farm. Secondly, I have not served him or looked after him because when I was planning to go to Australia in 1977 he came to Manila to say goodbye and had a gall bladder infection while he was still on the boat. He died in one of Manila’s hospitals 3 weeks later.” The only service I have done for him was to take his body to Mindanao with the help of some of my distant relatives whom I have only known during that time. We were able to lay his body to rest.

Since I came to Australia in 1978 I am glad I had the privilege to serve and to provide for my mother’s financial, emotional, spiritual and medical needs until she passed away nearly 10 years ago. She came to Australia 3 times and I have had the joy of serving her. When Nanay was here we could see her constant love, care and concern for our three boys, James, Mark and Ralph. She was a blessing and was prepared to give her all to look after and take care of them. Hopefully, as Christians we have a better understanding of serving our parents. Serving our parents means honouring them, loving them, never neglecting their immediate needs especially during the sunset years of their life. It is true, as far as our relationship with our parents, we may have many trials and challenges but they are also “turning points” which redirect us to God our Heavenly Father who has created us in the first place. This understanding of His constant love towards us and His forgiveness, can improve our relationship with our parents. So whatever our situation is in life, remember these words of wisdom from an unknown writer “only one life will soon be past, only what was done for Christ will last.” Remember in everything we do, whether we have disappointments or highlights in different aspects of life, we are still here because of His grace. So live a life of service to your parents knowing that the grace of God is the one sustaining you in everything. All by grace and grace alone through faith alone.

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