By Nikola Diana Y. Miranda
Walk the Thought, No.6
I appreciate kinabuhi or life. I always have, but not as much as I do now. I volunteered because of wanting to do something for others. I want change. It does not have to be violent or radical. I volunteered because I want to prove that change could come in such a peaceful and happy manner. I volunteered because I want to initiate change – change in myself, in my life, in everything and in everyone around me. I never realized that the Miriam Volunteer Mission of Miriam College would drastically turn me around.
I was assigned to volunteer in Our Lady of Victory Training Center for the Handicapped (OLV-TC) in Davao. I went there expecting nothing except that I enjoy my half-year deployment and hope I serve my purpose. I knew no one when I arrived. I was a stranger to them as they were to me. Without hesitations, without questions and without any doubt that I might forsake them, they opened the doors to let me in.
The training center became my home away from home. It was a place where I virtually stood out because almost everyone was on wheelchair or has scoliosis and I towered when we stood or walked or wheeled together. On weekends, I stayed at the OLV-TC in Samal Island which was as much heaven as Davao. The younger angels on wheelchairs and crutches live there.
It is a place of growth, of love and of hope. It is a place of God. That was the first time when so many people at the same place and moment loved and cared for me as if they knew me at birth. Even though they were not my biological family, they treated me as one of theirs.
Joining the Miriam Volunteer Mission was not a forced decision but an answer to a call that I heard since I was a sophomore. The Mission knew that I had something to offer and that I would not be lonesome being apart from my family and friends. I could leave the convenience of home to experience something new and grow from that experience. I believed that as I grow, the people around me would grow as well.
I believe in a Supreme Being, a God, a Creator or whatever you want to call it. Ever since I knew how to make the sign of the cross I knew that there is a divine power that holds us together. But I used to think that the strongest rope could still snap and drop us or leave us hanging by the thread.
During the mission, something unexpected happened that crushed every inch of me. Yet I coped with the pain in a way I would not have been able to do if I was not in the midst of such beautiful environment and people. I was with the perfect people who made the pain drift away so fast. The pain did not matter anymore.
There was an overpowering feeling of happiness and love from the community that glued all of me back together, creating a new design. Yes, I no longer look like I originally did because I look better. They repaired me to make me stronger. Everything was in the right place and it was right for such tragedy to happen. Everything was aligned, in place – everything simply fit.
Why did this happen? Who made the arrangements? Who laid out the plan? It takes space and distance before we come to realize that there really is Someone capable of drafting our life’s blueprint which we may never fully understand.
Now, I am convinced that the Creator is never evil. The Creator is the Mother and the Father who teaches us what is right and wrong in ways we never thought would allow us to learn. There is a Being who leads us to the path of righteousness and goodwill.
We are all handicapped in one way or another. But our handicap should not stop us from being happy, from loving and living life because there is Someone who will always see us through.
Philippine Copyright 2010