I was writing a post on my conversations about death, when I received a short text from Joven Ong informing me that his father, and a dear friend of mine, Mr. Delfin, passed away. As some of you who are connected to me on Facebook know, he had been bravely facing cancer for a few months. He has now joined our Father in Heaven. I was so sad I wrote this poem: Eulogy
Inquire of the Lord
I remember a line Mr. Delfin left me with that continues to remind me, even haunt me, and that line is this:
Inquire of the Lord.
He told me, "Your name is David. The secret of David is that he inquired of the Lord. I have made many mistakes but God has blessed me because I inquire of Him."
Inquire: to ask, to seek. Many times we just take events for what they are, we don't go deeper and ask, "Father, what do You want me to do?"
It was a good reminder that came in perfect timing as I myself had been struggling with disappointments related to things I had believed God for that didn't happen, events that I could not understand, that were beyond my control. I'm sure you all know how that feels. All of us have been disappointed, and it's not uncommon to think that, at the time of our frustration, our's is the biggest and most painful in the world. Of course this is a subtle form of pride, to think only of my own suffering and fail to see how others fare, that causes us to be absent for others when they need us most.
Sometimes it takes the faith of someone who is facing giants much bigger than ours to remind us to be brave, to be strong, to pull us out of the discouragement we face. Mr. Delfin was especially significant in my life because he believed in me when many didn't. While many people verbally said things, about how they believe in me, Mr. Delfin, went out and really showed this to me. I'll never forget him and his family for doing that. He stands out as someone who loved with his actions.
A Reward In Full
I don't like writing or saying things to people who have already gone ahead. That's why I try my best to tell people what I want them to know while they're alive - including those I don't particularly like. Haha! But I do have a few thoughts for us, those still alive on Earth, that we may live a life like that of Mr. Delfin's, a life that touches so many in a way that is so humble.
My dad used to tell me when I was younger, "David, I believe when we get to Heaven, we're all going to get the shock of our lives. A lot of these people that we admire, that we praise, that we call beautiful, or strong, or successful, these good speakers, rich people, they won't be who God honours most. We will be standing in line and watching how God exalts the many, unknown, un-named, and unrecognized people who faithfully pleased Him." He told me this to teach me to not to put too much value in the validation of man. I was reminded of this as I thought about Mr. Delfin. He did not trumpet his good works, his giving, and I believe, just as Matthew 6:4 says, "Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you."
Too many times we put so much emphasis on actions that will reward us today here on Earth with temporary validation. Life is not about filling ourselves and obtaining as many of the things we want and completing goals we want to achieve, and it's certainly not about proving to everyone else how good we can live. When a person, especially a good person, seems to have been cheated out of life, we feel some injustice has been done.
No. Life is about love, and loving God most of all, and to be with the Lover of Our Soul is beyond being just. It is God's loving mercies finally bringing us to Him.
I understand now what my dad was telling me. I think he was telling me, "Don't love for others. Don't love so that others will say you're loving, don't worship because others will think you're a good guy. Don't care for the poor or the broken to win respect. Don't make the validation of man your basis for how much you love. God knows who His lover is. Do not be like the guys who chase their full reward on Earth. Be that lover though no one sees nor agrees."
Sometimes it takes the sad passing away of a dearly beloved, to bring us back to the glorious simplicity of the Gospel: For God So Loved the World and to the rewarding simplicity of life: Love Your Neighbour.
Mr. Delfin lived both out. I am a witness. I believe he has received his reward in full.