In life, there will always be times when every person is wronged by another (s). That’s just the way life is. It could be an innocent child, molested by a man/woman they thought was their protector; a father for instance, and they’re too young to comprehend what happened to them, until much later when they realize they were raped.
It could be a very loving and faithful wife, married to a very abusive husband, who comes home late at night, wreaking of alcohol and spewing insults, annihilating the woman’s self-esteem in ways so unimaginable, so she never feels worthy of mingling with other human beings. Occasionally, the woman will be walking around with a swollen face, marred by bruises put on her by the man she loved or still loves.
It could even be a naïve faithful, taken advantage of by someone she thought was her spiritual guide; a pastor, who was supposed to help them attain salvation.
It could even be an emaciated kid, wandering the cold, unsafe streets at night in sheer solitude, simply because their mom abandoned them when they were still infants…or because they couldn’t stand their father’s abuse at home and therefore chose to flee.
I could only think of so many instances… the list is endless.
As human beings, when we’re in the hands of our tormentors, we curse them and ask God to avenge us. That’s only normal. In recent posts, I’ve mentioned how lately dad has become so heartless and egocentric. He flagrantly shows up in the house in a drunken stupor, staggering sometimes and he starts hurling insults at us.
In one particular episode, about a month ago, he was sitted on the couch sipping on some beer. A while later he started arguing with mom and before long, he was on his feet. Grabbing the bottle, he walked to the entrance door and did the unthinkable. He tipped the bottle, emptying its contents on a floor that hadn’t dried completely since I’d mopped it only recently.
It was a Sunday evening and, I had been breaking my back since I came from church, trying to clean the house. By the time I was done my back was in pain from accumulated fatigue since I have classes six days a week and I hadn’t been resting.
I could barely contain my rage. “Why have you become this unfeeling?” I asked him. “I’ve just finished mopping”.
“It’s my money,” he replied, “I can do with it as I please.”
“How could you do that?”
To my utter disappointment, he didn’t seem remorseful one bit. “I can still spill some more,” he threatened.
Incensed, I barked. “Even the mightiest people know when to say sorry”.
“Just get out of here!” He ordered, his words slurred.
“Money has made you this arrogant,” I continued, my voice raised. “May God take it all away. And you see how you’ve been treating us like worthless trinkets? You’ll come to us, crawling on your knees, asking for forgiveness”. I was feeling so hurt at such haughtiness, that I was shaking, my fists tightly clenched. At that point I know I could have done something so drastic. It’s no wonder nowadays I always avoid getting involved in any altercations with him because I fear I could do something bad. God-forbid!
“You’re talking like that because I already paid your school fee,” he argued. This is because he cut my two sisters off and said they shouldn’t even call him dad.
“Money’s not everything,” I countered vehemently. “Respect’s a two way street. If you want us to respect you, you should also accord us the same… and right now you’re not doing that.” With that I left, just to go cool off.
A while later, while he was spewing insults, like he’s being accustomed to, I heard a dull thud, followed by my sisters’ giggles… and I got all curious. While I was about to head back to the living room, I heard them say amid laughter, “See?”
Apparently, he had slipped on the wet floor, courtesy of the beer he had spilled and had fallen on the ground. Knowing my sisters, I knew the laughter wasn’t malicious. Dad naturally hates it when we laugh, so they just wanted to drive a point home; that in his arrogance he had poured the beer on the floor, only to end up on the same floor; that he had erred by pouring that beer and worse still, seeming so unapologetic about it. When he got back to his feet, he opened another bottle and emptied it on the floor again…
Today’s Easter Monday. Last week was a Holy week, where we celebrated the Holy Triduum (three holy days) starting from Holy Thursday evening, when Jesus washed His disciple’s feet before celebrating the Last Supper with them in preparation for His Passion; celebrated on Good Friday when He dies on the cross, the Easter Vigil Mass, on Holy Saturday; to Easter Sunday. Yesterday, we celebrated His glorious resurrection, when He triumphed over death.
On Good Friday, when the priest was giving his brief sermon, he emphasized on forgiveness. “Jesus didn’t curse His tormentors for putting Him through so much agony when He was entirely blameless. Instead, He asked His Father, ‘Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do’”.
Just like Jesus forgave His tormentors, we’re also called to forgive those who make us suffer unjustly; as opposed to cursing them. Speaking from my own personal experience, it’s very difficult forgiving someone/people who torment us incessantly; but following in Christ’s footsteps, I’m making a personal effort to forgive my dad and all those I feel make my life miserable.
I’m not in the habit of wishing ill upon others but unfortunately, that is something that’s growing on me from the constant conflicts I have with dad. I ask for God’s grace to do only, that which pleases Him. It’s really not easy but I have to try. We all should.