While I Was Away

I was gone for eight days and on those days (above) I had no time to watch television; neither could I read Thai newspapers. It was like being in limbo, not knowing what was happening in beloved motherland.

“So tell me all about the news I missed,” I asked Ate Vi, my long-time househelp who can put newscasters to shame.

“Oh, those Filipino generals!” she said, smirking. “They were on their way home from Russia with their wives and brought our country great shame! One of them had in his possession, undeclared, over six million pesos (105,000 euros) in cash. They were detained by top Russian police.”

“Not possible,” I said. “How could they have spirited out that huge amount of money? I had just gone through our airport twice and I was frisked thoroughly. I was asked how much dollars I had ($202). I was told to take off my shoes, and even my little notebook had to go through the x-ray machine! I signed a custom’s declaration, attesting I had no more than $10,000."

“Well, you are a law-abiding citizen,” she said.

“And those generals aren’t? They are the defenders of our constitution,” I countered, saddened by her story.

“Money and power corrupt,” she said tersely. “You have neither.”

Ate Vi’s tells it like it is.

“One other thing,” she added. “Our president gleefully announced that the IMF was giving us a ten-billion-dollar aid. IMF denied it.”

“My president wouldn’t lie,” I said, getting sadder and sadder.

“Well, believe what you want. Stay na├»ve,” she said and left for the kitchen.

I will review old copies of our newspapers, hoping she misread the news. But Ate Vi tells the truth. People with money and power don’t get punished for their excesses and abuses. They get investigated for a week or two then nada.

Well, justice, as we know it, will not come in this lifetime. No wonder a growing number of people in this country are finding it more and more difficult to be optimistic.

That’s saddest of all.

But I believe that all the money and power that corrupt the revered leaders of our land will all turn to nada. Only divine grace gives us hope.

When the Lord returns, justice will be meted out; and by His grace, God’s people will bask in nothing but righteousness—and will never feel sad again.

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