When Hope Is Gone

Posted: 2018.08.27 in Other

In the movie Shawshank Redemption, I love a line, in the final scene, that was written by Ellis (Morgan Freeman) in his letter to Andy (Tim Robbins). It says something like this: Hope is a good thing. When all faith is gone, all that remains is hope. That line made me understood how important hope is. And, partly gave me the answer, why St Paul picked these three words most importantly in 1 Corinthians 13:13: And now faith, hope, and love abide; these three; and the greatest of these is love.

But what happens when hope is gone? Does love remain as sole survivor?

When hope is gone, what I feel is death. For many times, about less than ten, I had thought of ending my life. I had thought of jumping off from the 4th balcony of my school in high school. I thought of hanging myself. In my room, in my 20s, there was a rope hanging from the ceiling, all ready to be used. There was also an insecticide hidden in my room, not for insects, but for me. In my 30s, I thought of jumping off a ship, one time I left home; or jumping off a bridge during a stormy weather.

Unfortunately, quite an irony, none of those suicide plans had happened as I write today. One voice would save me. Every time, there was something inside that always told me not to do it. A soundless voice in my brain, or like behind my ears, would tell me not to do it. And so, I would obey. Thus, none of those death plans ever happened.

A few days ago, I was in my depression mode again. Hope is gone again. So, is faith. Death is alive again. During this depression mode, often I asked, as usual: God, why have you abandoned me. You love children. They are the most precious to you, yet when I was a child, you weren’t there.


Mark Bautista wrote an auto-bio and just released it recently. According to the book, he was almost molested by his cousin when he was 6 or 7 but managed to escape. The book also mentioned about his sexuality. In an interview by Jessica Soho (KMJS, 25 Feb 2018), he mentioned that his traumatic experience when he was a child somehow moulded him (partly) to what he is now.

Being a celebrity with more than a hundred thousand followers on social media, for sure, Mark’s book would be a bestseller.

The Other ‘Mark’

This boy was sexually abused when he was 13; not just once. Like Mark, he wanted to write his story. But he is not a celebrity. Who would buy his book?

Their stories are a story of an irony. Mark’s story would be in public, and he deserves the compassion of many.

Meanwhile, the story of the other ‘Mark’ will forever be in secret. No compassion will ever be expressed.

If the failed attempt of sexual abuse affected Mark’s inner self, how much more for the other ‘Mark’ who actually suffered a series of sexual abuses?

Every child deserves a happy childhood. If you scold your children for playing for hours, giggling and laughing, making noises and running like wild kids, you give them the impression that it is bad or wrong to play. If you do that repeatedly, it becomes a form of verbal abuse. As a result, the kids stop to mingle with fellow kids and would just settle to watch kids play rather than to participate. As they grow up, the dream and the hope to be able to play again remains inside them, wishing that someday, they may be able to play again even they were too old to do so.

It is for that reason that in some retreats, participants undergo an exercise where they let out the child in them. They are encouraged to be child-like even to the point of playing games they used to play when they were kids.

I don’t have a happy childhood. I was not allowed to go out and play during siesta time. My big brothers would put heavy objects above the door, sort of an alarm. If at any time I opened the door, the objects fell off on my head.

I was sickly as a child. I grew up knowing that I was asthmatic because that’s how kids called me. I was not allowed to play for the reason that my resistance would just fail me. How I envied the kids who played on the streets when it rained! I just settled watching them from a window.

My playroom was a dark corner inside our house. I had toys like plastic soldiers, plastic cars, and wood blocks. At a few times, I got to join the other kids to play patintero, hide and seek, or habulan; but as saling-pusa, I never got to be the ‘it’. It wasn’t fun because it wasn’t like playing at all.

My childhood was quiet; so simple that if I were not a kid, playing alone would have been boring. I wouldn’t say it was lonely but neither was it a happy one.

With that kind of childhood, I never learned to be sociable with other kids. This is a trait I carried until adulthood, even until now. I am not a sociable person.

So, let your kids play with other kids. So what if they are noisy – that’s their nature. Let their laughters be music to your ears. By all means, guide them. You just have to explain to them that there are places where they cannot play, and the time when they cannot be noisy.

The Prodigal Son

Posted: 2013.11.01 in Other


Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them.
A few days later, the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘

So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe – the best one – and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'”

~ Luke 15:11-32
Image credit: By Rembrandt5QFIEhic3owZ-A at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum, Public Domain, Link