I noticed that a friend and co-member of ours was feeling depressed. I can tell because he used to be the energetic type of person during our Sunday services. But now he was rather… silent. And every reasonable person knows that there’s something wrong. But nobody would talk to him, for he was too engrossed with his depression. He was drowning in his own sadness. And if he didn’t get help quick, he’d change forever. How do I know? I’ve been there as most of us have. When people are depressed, they either withdraw themselves from reality or they manifest their depression through changes in their attitude and personality.

In short, I sat at his side and asked him: “Pare, may problema ka ba?”. He didn’t answer. I put my hand behind his back and gave him a rub[, as my mother would always do] and asked again: “Pare, pwede mo naman akong kausapin e.”. That move elicited a reply from him. He bent forward, and began to cry. And when he did, I didn’t know what to do. The wrong words can scar him for life, so I just whispered some words of reassurance: “Wag ka mag-alala. Magiging mabuti rin ang lahat.”. He continued to cry… Some people began to notice and asked me why. I don’t know. Thankfully, Tito Jerome was there to help me out. His father also noticed, talked to him and took him home.

He didn’t speak a single word to me, but his tears were enough to prove one thing: That everyone wants to be loved. Everyone just wants to be given the chance to love and to be loved. Everyone wants that shoulder to cry on, that person to run to. Even the worst of people just want to be loved. Maybe there is a reason why good people turn bad, sadly, because of the lack of love, or the excess of it. Everyone wants to be loved. There’s a void inside each and everyone of us, waiting to be filled, with anything from hate to love.

I remember the story of the happiest person in the world. There was once a young girl who saw a butterfly trapped between the thorny bushes by their house. She carefully pried the butterfly free, careful not to tear its wings apart. When she did, the creature transformed into a beautiful lady who thanked her and gave her the chance to make a wish. Now, this young girl thought for a while and finally said her wish, to be the happiest person in the world. The sweet lady smiled and whispered something in the young girl’s ear. From then on, she was the happiest person in the world. On her deathbed, the people, in fear that she may take the secret from the world forever, asked her. She replied: “Know that even though everyone hates you, in truth, they still love you.”

During our Mass service, I couldn’t help but reflect on my past, on those regrets and emotions bottled up inside of me. And just as I thought, I’ve been a such bitter man inside. The void within me is like an abyss, unappeasable, insatiable. When our parish priest delivered his Homily, the timing couldn’t have been perfect, for as I listened to him, I found a source, a hope. God’s love. It’s infinite, unconditional and is given to all. And I felt a taste of peace just knowing that someone out there still loves and cares for me. Even though the world hates me, there’ll always be someone, not of this world, that will.

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