It was my day off from work when I decided to go to mall to buy some chocolates for my preplanned movie marathon. On the jeepney, there was this woman who caught my attention. She was sitting next to me with a little child in her arms that I believe was her child. She was noticeably thin and was wearing a tattered shirt and a long worn out skirt. Her skin was dark and her hair was tied up in a bun. Her child was also thin and dark-skinned and wearing a worn out jumpsuit. She had an empty basket at her foot and a white plastic bag on her lap. Anyone could mistake them for beggars. When I noticed that the little girl was staring at me, I smiled back at the child and her mother. I was then able to take a close-up look at the woman. Her face was prematurely wrinkled yet pleasant. Her face looked tired and old except her eyes. They revealed how actually young she was and the energy she possessed inside. They twinkled as she gave me a warm smile. I did not say anything nor did she. But deep inside, I was touched and felt envious at the same time. Her smile was so pleasant and genuine. It showed how happy her heart was.
Few minutes after, the jeepney stopped as the traffic light turned green. A young beggar then got on the jeepney and started asking for money. All of us passengers ignored the little boy and so he started to approach us one by one with his dirty palm opened. He approached us all except the woman sitting beside me. "Why would he beg from her when he wore nicer clothes?" I thought. Everyone started to get annoyed. Nobody gave a single coin to the little boy. The jeepney was about to go when to my surprise, the woman beside me struggled on her seat to reach for a coin purse in the left pocket of her skirt. Her right arm supported her child while her left hand was opening the small purse. She handed a ten-peso coin to the little boy while smiling. "Buy yourself some bread and take care!" she exclaimed as the young beggar jump off the jeepney. Her gaze followed the young beggar until he safely reached the side-walk. All of us passengers were looking at the woman as she carefully returned her old wallet to her pocket. I knew the other passengers also felt the same way I did. I turned my face again to the window.
Later, the same woman turned to me and asked, "Is that the terminal for jeepneys bound for **Labangon?" (**One of the municipalities of our city). I just nodded and she gave me that radiant smile again. The jeepney stopped around the corner of the terminal. Before she made her way off the jeepney, she smiled at me again and said, "Thank you. God bless you". Right that moment, I felt something in my heart which I could not fathom. What she said to me made me shiver. Her voice seemed to get in touch with my soul that I wanted break down in tears.
I wanted to cry out to the Lord. I wanted to praise and thank HIM for giving me my job which often times I don’t appreciate, for my family who depends on me for living, for my friends who disappointed and deeply hurt me, for my relatives who sent me to school but ill-treated me, for my father whom I haven’t seen for 15 years and who passed to me the obligation of a bread-winner, for the kind of childhood I had which left me some permanent scars, for the unreciprocated love I had which almost led me to self-destruction, for everything I have been through, for everything that is yet unseen and awaits me around the bend. Unknown emotions poured on me. I just could not contain it.
I immediately got off the jeepney and walked my way out the crowded corridor. The wind was blowing softly in my face. Instead of crying, I talked to GOD without saying anything. I just let HIM reach into my heart and feel whatever it was that I could not make out on my own.
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