Coming home from a wonderful three-week vacation, I was aghast to see termite tracks inside my room, creeping from the corner baseboard. When I poked the baseboard with my foot, it crumbled like wafer! And almost half of the length of the baseboard was now hollow, with only the thick paint holding it up. My heart sank, and the happy vacation moments were quickly turning into panic. I prayed, “Lord, dugo at pawis ang pinundar ko sa maliit na bahay na ito, huwag Ninyo naman pong hayaang magiba! Please, help me!”
That same day, my brother, who is in the country for a short stay, called me up, and when I mentioned my problem to him, he told me he would visit me the following day. The next day, he was in my home, with my sister-in-law and nephew —and three handymen with termite control paraphernalia to boot! To cut the story short, the “terminators” found out that my door jambs, as well as my sala, kitchen, and garage, have been infested already. They ordered me to clear my house of unneeded paper and cardboards as these were attracting the termites. Our bonding time was taken up by packing stuff, so the area could be treated. My house looked like an evacuation center in no time. The entire treatment lasted only a few hours.
When everyone had left and I settled down to clean up the mess, despite the situation, I began to feel grateful for so many things. I was grateful that almost instantly, God answered my prayers, that my brother chose to come and help me instead of going to the mall to enjoy his vacation, and that my sister lent me her maid to help me clean up. I realized that there were tell-tale signs of termites already in the sala, but I chose to ignore it. Much like sin, which slowly creeps within us, we try to ignore or camouflage it, just like the thick paint that covered the baseboard and made it look normal on the outside, despite being totally rotten inside. Deep inside, sin is already growing and eating us up. The pile of junk that I have accumulated over the years and would not let go of is just like my “favorite” sin of omission, which has now caused me big time damage. Sigh. Now, I have to spend much for repairs.
While cleaning up, I came across termite-eaten, unrecognizable stock certificates Ouch! This is another classic example of neglect or indifference. More sigh. But I also salvaged a pension certificate kept intact, with a 2012 maturity. Praise God! I also came across old pictures of my early volunteer work with the street children of Tuloy Alabang, most of whom are now grown-up and many who still keep in touch. It was nostalgic and heartwarming, and it reminded me that, there are hundreds more out there that I can help, one child at a time. Really now, this termite incident is giving me mixed emotions and doses of lessons in life.
It took me several days to clean up my house, but it was comforting to know that blessings do come in many forms, some even through problems like termite infestations.
Be part of God's work! How much do you want to offer to the Lord to support the work and ministry of Feast Alabang