Friday, 2 September 2011

Chapter 1 RECONCILIATION (My Brother's Healing)

I was in the house attending to my household chores when I received a telephone call from my sister-in-law informing me that my brother had met with an accident on his motorcycle.

Apparently, he was moving quiet fast when two children crossed the street in front of him; swerving to avoid them he hit a large stone and was catapulted off the bike which then followed and landed on his body. The accident left him with a broken collarbone, ribs, feet and legs. He was taken immediately to Makati Medical Centre where he received preferential treatment as he is employed by a major corporation, and the doctor was also his uncle.

On receiving news my elder sister and I rushed to the hospital. My sister-in law was already there and informed us that there was concern that splinters from the smashed ribs may puncture his lungs and so if there were any hissing sound coming from his lungs an immediate operation would be required. This was precisely what happened and the loud sound coming from his lungs filled our hearts with fear. At this my sister-in law panicked and rushed to call the doctor. I pacified her and told her to have faith. I requested all that were there to touch my brother, as I would lead a prayer for healing.

I was trembling as I prayed. My words could hardly be understood but everyone in the room know that at that moment we must be united in prayer begging God to heal my brother. i was used to laying hands upon the sick and was always composed but that day, with tears in my eyes, I begged God to heal my brother, not only because I love and care for him but also because he has 4 children still in elementary and high school. There was so much more for him to do as a Father, husband, brother and friend to others. 

He is a very compassionate person, especially to the lowly. I've often seen him giving whatever is in his pocket to the needy and always helps those who need jobs - he is their champion. In his company he acts as mediator between the workforce and management, even though he belongs to the latter, and I'm always amazed with the results of his negotiations. He is loved wherever he goes but he was always strict with us, his family, especially to me, as I am the most hardheaded and it is in my nature to answer back even if I  knew I was wrong. He loved and respected our parents so much, especially our mom. I never heard him, argue or answer them back. I did not give much emphasis to all these wonderful qualities; rather I regarded him as an ordinary person, one whom I hated so much in our youth.

When he was studying at college, I had to stop for a year to give my service to him and my elder sister  as they were both graduating in engineering that year. One afternoon when I was preparing for our dinner, my brother come to me, put his arms around me and whispered to me words that encouraged met o serve him all the more. He said, "Baby, thank you very much, do not worry sister, I will take care of you as soon as I graduate." I was a teenager (17) and it was so nice to hear these words. In my mind I was dreaming of the beautiful clothes and other things I would have then. Finally he and my sister graduated. I think I was even happier than my parents were for I knew that now he would be there for me. Next he took the board exam; I prayed a lot for him to pass, though I knew in my heart that he would, as he was always an A-student . He then applied to one of the biggest corporations in the country and was accepted. Now would be the time for me to reap what I thought I'd sown.

The biggest disappointment of my life followed as my brother got married and I knew that would be the end of his promise. I cried a lot secretly and from that time on I did not even went to see him or even want to see him or even hear his voice again. To everyone else he was still the same person, still the champion.

Now I started working on my own. In the third year of my college studies I decided to work during the day and study by night, so as to be able to provide for myself as well, as he had reneged on his promise. I became a silent competitor and vowed to become more successful and achieve more than him without his help.I worked very hard, and built a very successful business. In the middle of this the Lord came into my life  and commissioned me to work for him. The call to serve him was so great that I could not say no to God.

I started to pray, first the rosary. I did not really know how to pray then. As I become more engrossed in the Lord's service I moved forward, going to the sick and praying for healing. I took hold of the bible and read and read, when there were things I could not understand I would go and see my Father confessor for guidance. I became more knowledgeable about the Word of God and could speak and explain the teachings through my own experiences. Once a Priest told me not to be afraid to share the Word through my experiences because, as he said, I have an experiential God. This gave me the courage to reach out to people in need through my experiences, big or small, good or bad, and people were healed and reconciled with God and one-another. God gave me the opportunity to touch my family and at this point it was my brother. 

In the hospital after we had prayed over my brother, there was complete silence nobody moved, as we stared at him lying in pain. He closed his eyes and a moment later the loud hissing sound emanating from his chest stopped. He woke up and said that he felt very well.

A doctor entered and told us that the operating room was ready for them to start repairing his broken bones. I asked my sister-in-law to ask for another X-ray and examination first. On doing so the doctors discovered that all the bones had knitted back together as if nothing had happened to him. He was completely healed.

We returned home with joy in our hearts, praising and thanking God for his wonderful miracle, although the doctors insisted he must stay in the hospital for a few days - they too were amazed. 

Three days later I received another call from my sister-in-law> Her voice trembled and I was filled with fear as she told me that my brother needed an operation now on his brain, as there was a hemorrhage. I gathered my younger sisters and my children together, asked them to pray for him as my older sister and I rushed to the hospital. When we arrived our parents were already there; I could see the anguish in their faces. As I moved towards my brother I could see that he was very sick. He could hardly look at us and could no longer speak to greet me - the brain hemorrhage had affected both his eyes and speech. I could not believe what was happening, three days ago he was completely healed, and now in an even more critical condition than before. 

I felt so bad, as if I'd betrayed my family in assuring them of my brothers healing, when now it seemed unlikely the he would even survive the operation as there was a blood clot on the left side of his brain. Again the doctors entered as they were now preparing the operating room for his emergency operation. I did not know what to do, I couldn't think, I couldn't understand. I began to question God. In my mind I felt that he had abandoned me - we prayed over him for three days ago, the Lord healed him, the X-rays confirmed this, why then, after such a wonderful miracle is he now more serious than ever? The questions pierced my heart and soul as I called on the family again to join in prayer once more. I placed my hand on his forehead, closed my eyes but could not open my mouth to speak. Silently I asked God to help me pray. I tried to recall all our happy days together when we were children but to my surprise what I pictured in my mind were the pains and hurtful times, the broken promises, working so hard and studying at the same time and for all these hardships I blamed him. Realising that this may be our last moments together and for the last chance to reconcile with him, I tried to tell him I was sorry, but no words came out. I prayed again that God would help me and then in the presence of my parents  and family I acknowledged and accepted all my mistakes and shortcomings and asked him to forgive me for offending him. 

I felt a power within that gave me the courage to accept my offenses and ask for forgiveness rather than counting those done to me. After doing so I felt released from these negative feelings that I'd carried in my heart for such a long time. When  I opened my eyes I was amazed to see tears flowing from my brother's eyes, I knew that we were reconciled. A few moments later he looked up at me and said, "Baby, God is with you". I asked him how he knew and he replied " Because you can speak English now"

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