Hi, stranger…

I decided to have my day-off this week in my mom’s hometown and spend time with my grandma who celebrated her 84th last March 5! (Happy birthday, Lola! ♥)

Just looking at that number truly amazes me how God has proved to be so faithful in her life and how He continues to sustain her even to her old age.

I’m just super overwhelmed with gratitude to God for blessing me with such a loving and caring Lola who is indeed one of my greatest inspiration and hero in life.

The weather was just so perfect to simply relax and hang around with my Lola and Aunt (whom my sibs and I call Mama).

There was that cool wind that made you forget the scorching heat of the summer and made you just want to sit back and savor every minute of this must needed day-off from work.

One of our Pastors from Church once said that we don’t work so we can have rest but we rest so we can work. I love that and I thank God for that amazing truth! I believe that realization would put things in proper order when it comes to work and play.

It’s good to have a good grasp of the things that we NEED to do (rest) so we can do the things we HAVE to accomplish (work). (I hope that made sense to you…? :D)

But wait, I’m not blogging about work and rest today, so maybe you can keep a tab on me to write a proper blog about that? :)

(Back to what I was trying to write about…)

Afternoon came and I realized I had to go to the ili (town center) for an errand.

I called out to my Lola and she asked me if I was really going out with that outfit I was wearing (referring to my pambahay matching green shirt and shorts which I actually borrowed from her. I know, 84 year old’s clothing in a 22 year old woman doesn’t even put frumpy to mind, right? I definitely must stop putting in humiliating truths about me in this blog. )

I had to check myself out in the mirror and answer “Um, yes?”

And yep, off I went wearing my super tacky comfortable clothes and shrugged my Lola’s concern since nobody knows me anyway around here, right?

But as I went and about my errands and did a little bit of peeking around what’s up and about the market area, a certain thought kept pushing in to my mind.

It was this thought that why do I have this sense of being “free” to simply walk around without any care for the world whenever we are in a certain place or situation where nobody knows us or sees us.

I don’t know about you. But, I think that it’s actually a tendency for most of us to be more loose and relaxed when it comes to unfolding our “true selves” (i.e. in my case here fashion sense) when there’s no one who knows us personally is around to give a comment or (cringe) comment about us to somebody else—when we are stranger to world around us.

Just like when we suddenly get the guts to sing our hearts out in a karaoke bar since no one knows us anyway

but chickens out when they chorus out our names to sing even that simple nursery rhyme…

or that time when you can just pour your heart and soul out to that random stranger in the plane or in a foreign place because you won’t probably see him/her again anyway…

but then always filter the things we share to the people we live or work with because we have this constant thought ‘what if they think why was I so obnoxious?’

You see, being a total stranger in a certain place or situation changes us.

It has that power to transform us into becoming a whole new person—actually, our real person, our true selves if there’s such a term.

It uncovers the mask we often times put on just so we can look like everyone else.
It wipes out the filter we like to add to our outlook because maybe people will like us more if we have it on.

It crumbles the wall we cleverly build around ourselves and let ourselves be vulnerable even for a moment because we think we’re untouchable because of the unfamiliarity of the people and place toward us.

And yet as much as this could be the happiest place for us, what with this sense of freedom to be just us, we have to admit that we will always be known at some point, always recognized at some level, and always remembered even in a distant memory…

and so with these things, we can never be truly untouchable.

Our actions and decisions, whether or not someone we know or someone who knows us is around, will always be a reflection of who we are….

We will not be able to dismiss any single hidden thought, careless word or action and deny it’s reflection of who we truly are.

I don’t know about you, but it truly does make me feel “exposed” just by realizing this.

But I get refreshed that even with this rather uncomfortable truth–that I am not just known by the people around me…

but that all my thoughts, desires, inclinations and everything in between are FULLY known by God who alone knows everything…

thus, I can be at peace.

At peace, because I know that even with ALL of my imperfections, which is a whole lot (yes, even with my fashion taste), I am also FULLY loved.

I loved how Tim Keller put it in his words:

Fully known and lovedYou see, people around us can never know us fully…thus their love will always be impartial to the things they know (or don’t know) about us.

I personally think, there will be still be that question at the back of my head, where I would wonder if this certain person would treat me any differently if he/she knew this or that thing about me…

The love of men won’t be able to secure us completely…

But the love of God?

Ah…that unfathomable, out-of-this-earth kind of love?

His love is…

Him seeing through the entire smokescreen we like to put around us,

Him knowing every struggle we have,

Him fully aware of all our hang ups and how badly we mess up,

Him who see the very depths of our hearts

and still love us the same…

So amazing, right? Nothing frees and secures me more than this truth.

That I can be just as I am and be transformed to be the best that I can be…

because I know God is that Someone who knows me fully,

yet also fully loves me.




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