“The harsh radiant sun,
The gentle sparkling moon,
Together, in an eclipse.”
As far as I can remember, the Korean Series: My Girlfriend is a Gumiho ends along these lines: “The sun and the moon are not supposed to meet. But they do come together, during an eclipse. Do you know why? Because God is crazy. Like you and me, we are not supposed to meet, yet we met, do you know why? Because God is crazy.”
In life, love is never planned, it doesn’t need to have a reason. But when love comes into your life, it becomes your plan for life and your reason for living. Every man has the privilege to doubt his calling in life and to turn his back on it from time to time, yet nonetheless, what he must not do is to forget that he is called. There can be something wrong when you are no longer capable of doubt, for maybe you become too conceited to believe that you are worthy of the call.
“Kung papipiliin ako sa pagsunod sa Diyos o sa puso, parehong mahirap. Pero mas nakakatakot kung susundin mo ang puso, kasi pag sinunod mo ang Diyos, Siya na ang bahala sa’yo. Pero kapag sinunod mo ang puso mo, hindi mo alam kung ano ang naghihintay sa’yo.”
Let me share to you a love story. Once there was a seminarian who was already pursuing his theological studies (in other words, he just need a few more years prior to priestly ordination). During those times, he was once assigned to a hospital for the apostolate of sick visitation. One day, as he was making his rounds in the hospital, he came upon a girl with a terminal disease.
At first, the girl was very snobbish and vexatious. To show her annoyance, she even told the seminarian to stay away because she no longer believes in God, that if God exists, how can He let her be afflicted with such a terrible disease.
Yet the seminarian persevered in visiting her and striking a conversation. Soon enough, they became friends. The girl’s name was Christine. Christine indeed he discovered was a very nice girl gifted with such an angelic face and voice despite of her sickness. They became close to each other to the point that Christine, a former choir member, promised to the seminarian that at his ordination, she would sing his favorite song, Lead me Lord.
Now as the line from the 500 Days of Summer goes: “A boy and a girl can just be friends. Yet at one time or another, one of them will fall for the other, maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe, just maybe, forever.” As the seminarian revived Christine’s faith in God, she also revived something within him. The seminarian wrote in his journal: “ I still cannot understand love, so I cannot fall, yet why does this foolish heart of mine keep on pounding? I know that we can’t be together, yet how do I stop thinking about you all night long.”
He prayed hard and asked the Lord to take his feelings away, yet God is love, He can grant your prayer if you ask to stay away from hatred, but how can he grant your supplication if you ask to escape away from love?
Even when he was no longer assigned in that hospital, he continued to visit her. As the visits increased in number, the more they felt that they belong together. It’s very hard when you know deep in your hearts that you love each other yet the situation dictates that you can’t be together. If they will confess their love for each other, what for? If the girl would soon die because of her sickness; if the boy would very soon become a priest?
As the seminary academic work continued to pile up in his fourth year in theology, his visits became less and less while her sickness turned into worse. Soon she had to undergo chemotherapy. In one of his visits, she sang to him Carol Banawa’s Stay and it was the most heart breaking song he ever heard: “Why did you have to leave me? When you said that love will conquer all…why did you have to leave me…when you said that dreaming was as good as reality…and now I must move on trying to forget all the memories of you near me…but I can’t let go of your love that has taught me to hold on.”
He was able to confess his love for Christine on his last visit. Then at a cheerful disposition and that unforgettable angelic smile, she replied: “Do you know that God made human beings with wings like the angels? Yet unlike the angels, each of us is given only one wing. So we must find another who is willing to fly with us towards heaven. I’ll be gone soon, but you don’t have to worry, I am sure to come back as your angel and the time will come when we can finally fly together. I love you, but I am sorry that you love me too because we cannot be together. I know I’ll die but I also know that you can live for me. Fulfill your dream of becoming a priest but all I ask of you is to never forget me. And I know you won’t.” How can he forget that smile that made him felt heaven in his heart?
As the final term of the academic year approached, he became busier as her condition worsened. It was very unfortunate that news of her death reached him during the final examinations. No one can ever described how devastated he felt during those times, yet he decided to never give up on his dream because of his promise to her. He cannot even leave the seminary for just a short time without risking that he might not be able to return, for it was the ultimate test of his detachment. He knew that he could pray but he also knew that prayer wasn’t enough. Because the word enough does not exist in the vocabulary of love. Because love tends toward God and forever. That song she sang to him continues to break his heart into pieces yet it can never be erased on his mind: “I want you to stay, never go away from me. Stay forever. But now, now that you’re gone, all I can do is pray for you, to be here beside me again.”
He was only able to visit her grave. And on her last letter to him which the Father Rector gave to him at the end of the term, she said to him, “There was a time when I thought my sickness was too long until I met you. Now, I know that even a lifetime of wellness would not be enough to show someone how much you love him.” Indeed, true love doesn’t have a happy ending because true love never ends.
Our sorrows must not last when we journey towards that which we have always desired. We must learn to move on, because when we stubbornly cling to a stage of our life that has already ended, we will not see the purpose and joy of the rest. And if we are hard headed, God will shake us up to put us back to our senses. The Lord is indeed stern to those He has chosen. God is Almighty, He can do anything and nothing is forbidden to Him. It is through this almighty power that he chooses to only do what is good. When we reach the end of our stories, we shall see that often good is disguised as evil but nonetheless good and is part of His plan all along.
The sun and the moon can’t always be together but let us remember that the sunlight always gives meaning to the existence of the moon. Can you cast out from your heart the pain of such a loss? No. But you can always find joy in something won. He found it in being a priest.