By Joel Ferraris
It was a satellite photo on South China Morning Post dated 30 December 2004 showing the aerial view of the giant waves about to smash a seaside village in Sri Lanka that struck my attention. The swirling waves dwarfed the nearby houses like tiny pebbles on the beach. Their formation resembled that of a giant snake angrily wriggling.
That sight shot my mind back to my sister’s dream she described to me days ago after that fateful day. It was after her father–in-law, an American who just came back from Boracay Island in the Philippines, who told her about the details of the tragedy. What surprised her was the mention of India as one of the several countries hit by the tsunami. This country was coincidentally mentioned in her dream.
In her dream she saw 10 to 12 yellow-gold giant snakes that were sent to five countries in twos. And groups of little snakes of different colors were also unleashed. That phone call from her from the US was three days before I bought the newspaper with the images of those snake-like giant waves. Reviewing my collection of SCMPs, plus the succeeding issues, lead me to reflect on this year-end event.
There were six worst-hit countries gravely affected by the tsunami as well as casualties of tourists from twelve other countries most of them from Europe. Not only that. The succeeding corruption and evil manipulations of people who are taking advantage of this tragedy are rubbing salt and pepper to a gaping wound. The answer to the riddle of the dream slowly unfolds before me, I suppose.
Some people might say…Oh…it’s just another normal environmental occurrence. It happened in the past. It could happen anytime. Or it could be shrugged-off too so easily, especially because science, enhanced by the digital age, could always explain that… with the grave mistake of neglect that these affected countries committed as the main culprit. They failed to heed repeated calls from experts to install early warning devices several times in the past.
Was it because of our dependence on science and technology that made us neglect Divine signs? Or is there any Divine angle in this tragedy after all?
What about those reports that animals survived. It’s a mystery amid a disaster that a powerful 9.0 earthquake disturbed the earth’s rotation yet there were NO DEAD ANIMALS! It was also reported that Sri Lankan wildlife officials were stunned by the lack of animal carcasses in the sea of destruction.
Many lessons are to be learned from this tragedy. When the Hand of God moves even the worst of enemies will come together… to rescue their loved ones and bury their dead together...mourn together...starve together...die together...OR BE AWAKENED AND BE ENLIGHTENED TOGETHER!!!
The bloody conflicts in those regions were put to a stop, I hope not temporarily, and people were compelled to lend a hand to help others. And one good sight too is a church opening its doors to shelter people of different religions. This is the Good Samaritan at work nowadays.
These are in stark contrast to a manmade disaster of 9 -11 wherein the result was an escalation of violence and hatred growing more and deeper roots. The action was evil and the reaction was likewise evil…and the cycle continues as it has been ever since the ancient times.
Lord Jesus Christ was born and died to break that cycle!
The fact that Christmas time is supposedly for celebration…to gather together with relatives and friends for a yearend reunion…to exchange gifts as a symbol of love and affection…to party and be merry as a form of thanksgiving for abundance.
But the real truth reveals its sad face…that Christmas, as one Chinese wrote, now lacks the name Christ. What’s left are the letters “m” for materialism, “a” for apostasy, and “s” for sectarianism.
This sad tragedy on Christmas is only a wake-up call to the world for the real meaning of life and brotherhood of human-beings long neglected. This maybe a back-to-square-one form of Christianity in the making for those who have neglected or have completely deviated from or abandoned their faith. This could finally open our eyes to the real essence of Christianity…a Christianity that is not only practiced during Sundays or worst, only once a year on Christmas Day!
To some, if not to majority of people, Christmas means cessation of hostilities. This is done out respect of an event celebrated by the rest of the world. And after this season everything’s back to normal. And hostilities resume with all its viciousness back in action. At least they still have that remaining amount of respect unlike those who do not respect anything anymore. But just the same, this is not true Christianity if it is only a mere gap once a year!
Do they realize the true essence of Christianity and Christmas? Or does Christmas only serve its purpose as a revival of an ancient pagan ritual glorifying a tree and Santa Claus without really giving value on the birth of the Savior?
Why was Jesus Christ born and preached the Gospels and died on the cross after all?
We human beings are more precious than the birds or the flowers. This is what Lord Jesus Christ taught us. But why is it that in this age, in that tragedy, the dumb animals that do not enjoy the advantage of science and the digital age are the ones who survived as if Someone herded them towards high ground as in the days of Noah. Does this prove that the sixth sense, as we call it, is still more powerful than our scientific advancement? Is this, in the humans, we call conscience or the Divine Link?
It was written in the Holy Bible, foretold by the prophets, that in the last days people will dream dreams and see visions. The fruits of the Holy Spirit will guide the faithful and bring them to the right path.
Maybe the digital age was invented to let us record clearly how those faces of joy turn into fear, those frolicking in the sand turn into fleeing for dear lives and how friendly nature turn its fury to the very humans that caused its degradation.
People of today learn from relics of history, from recorded imprints of the past meant to give us a hint of what happened then. Likewise an abortion process filmed and seen through ultra-sound caused a pro-abortion feminist to turn 180 degrees. It’s good that people learn.
Yet, despite these clear examples, in other parts of the world there are still those who are callous and numb to the cries of the oppressed. They too preferred to be blind, ignoring the destruction they have caused around them. Nowadays violence in the world could be seen within the comforts of home via remote-controlled plasma TV.
God Almighty is still patient. His love is still waiting.
My sister’s gift started the day we both were baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1998. She saw in a vision what she described a perfectly-shaped hand of a man in shining white clothes pointing at her…with rays of bright light radiating from that hand. That was the time when her lips moved and a masculine voice commanding me to be my sister’s guardian in her mission to the world. From then on we started preaching and healing.
I had my dream too when I was younger. I was hiding behind a tree, afraid of vampires who are having a long procession. Tired of hiding in fear I took a baseball bat, walked towards them and smashed them one by one. From then on the vampires, to me, are my bad habits, my evil deeds, my misplaced priorities in life, the bad company, the lack of the right spiritual direction, misleading religious leaders ,a sick political and social system, those unseen and unclean spirits and many more.
The message of God the Almighty Father is clear. He is Holy and Living. His Son was sent to be the Savior to teach the Gospels of what is real love for God and for neighbor. And each of us is welcome.
To borrow the now famous line from one survivor in this tsunami tragedy, “In the raffle that decided my fate, my number was called with the lucky winners.
It’s a saving grace to be still alive, to have time to repent and be of service to God Almighty and to our neighbors…for death comes like a thief in the night.