Anabelle and I are back in the Philippines. And yesterday, we went out to see the ‘old places’ and do some ‘old things’. Feelings of deja vu struck me immediately: I have been here before. I have done all of this before. Everything was familiar: the sights, the sounds and the smells. And yet I also had persistent feelings of jamais vu: this is all so strange, feeling like I don’t belong. This is all so different from what I remembered.
I have similar feelings in my relationships with people. I have always found joy in meeting friends and family after a long period of time and we are able to just pick up from where we last left off. Like, we have never been apart and we are still part of each others’ lives. But sooner or later, I realize that the other person has lived a big chunk of his of her life of which I was no longer a part; and that I have lived a big portion of my life of which he or she is not a part.
People change and places change even when I am gone. I some how naively think that they would be frozen in time and space when I am not around. This is of course absolutely not true. People move on and place develop like they had a life of their own. I move on and change even when people expect me to remain the same.
In a world of constant change, I long for stability and an anchor to keep me grounded. My faith has been a source of stability for me, with God as an abiding presence. My relationships have kept me grounded as I have tried to live them out in love, a decision I have made based on my faith – that even in the midst of change, somethings never change.
While Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”