It’s easy to be in tune with the high places when you are literally stepping on them.
It wasn’t hard to feel blessed walking down the bustle of Session Road and finding a charming cafe to duck in for fragrant fresh coffee and newly baked bread. When mornings woke you up to a dewy mist in Benguet and your balcony gave way to the view of the city and the lakes below, you can’t help but smile and give praise. In Kalinga, the clinic rang daily with the sound of children laughing, babies crying out for the first time and always the sound of bustling in the kitchen, it was only natural to gather round the dining table to share stories of miracles and of faith.
Manila was different. The life that I had left, that which led me up to the mountains in the first place, was broken at best. My last romantic relationship was a disaster, all my closest friends were either married or had kids, my attitude towards my parents was still awkward and to top it all off, I was back to square one in the job department. The fact that I had just come from what felt like a spiritual awakening did nothing to help out the situation.Clearly, I was out of sync with the regular drone and murmur of Manila life. As if I had suddenly sprouted a set of wings and was only in the preliminary stages of shaking them out and flapping them around for size.
The first few days, I dealt with it the best way I knew how. With some friends over and a lot of beer. I was hanging on to the last few traces of the old and familiar. When I tried sharing to them the dreams and experiences I was having, I only felt like a crazy person. I knew things had changed.
A few days later, I got a call from Kitchie Nadal. She had been wanting to do something and could I help out? She explained how she had been thinking of doing a gig for inmates locked up in prison. Did I know anybody? As it turns out….I did. My ex was detained in a facility at that time.
Kitchie was a very good friend from high school. Although she was closer to my twin, we definitely had our share of crazy escapades together. We grew apart when she became a Christian in early 2000. We would still be bump into each other at gigs; I would be drunk or stoned and giggling manically and she would always be giving me a hug or saying something encouraging. I thought she was the most boring person in the world back then.
When she called me up that fateful morning, I was only too happy to help. I had never put together a gig on my own but a voice in my heart told me to go ahead and do it. I didn’t know it then but this prison gig would prove to be one of the most crucial moments in my walk with God. On that day in March, 2011, I would learn Whom that sweet voice belonged to. Little by little and always very gently, He started to reveal Himself to me.
“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
– Matthew 7:8