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Inside ACO's Poetic Mind
When Gilead Found Stuffy Muffy
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I've started to read my morning devotions. At first, I just read through the lines without even bothering to understand the real meaning behind the verses and the supplementary readings. It was something I did just for the sake of reading the message sent by our personnel officer every morning through winpopup. I said what the heck? Theres nothing to lose if I read those stuff anyway. So, every morning, before I start the day at work I would read those simple messages. Most of them simple stories and daily reflections of ordinary people about life in general, and of their increasing and renewed faith in God.

And of the morning devotions I read in the past weeks, the story of Gilead and Stuffy Muffy found its way right into my heart. They were both cats with opposing attitudes. Gilead is the caring type, the one who brought inspiration to his owner. He gave meaning to his owners life after a downfall. Stuffy Muffy on the other hand is the tough guy kind of cat. He never shows any affection to his owner. More of like the grouchy type. More like me. Yet it took only a continuous love from his owner to change Stuffy Muffy's attitude.

I never felt close to God. Not after my bitter experience in 1995 with an Opus Dei priest. But thats another story. Suffice it is to say that I have been a floating Christian for the past 6 years. I never went to church although I did not abandon the belief that there is a God somewhere out there. I just didn't feel right to step into the church and be a critical hypocrite while attending the Sunday Mass. And so, by choice I stopped going to church since February of 1995. My parents were surprised by the sudden change. I know they thought that my being in the premiere state university for almost five years prompted this change of heart. But they never questioned my decision. They just kept on reminding me that a relationship with the Lord is still the best thing for me to course through lifes hardships and pains. And I would only smile back at them and tell them, I know. I just need to find myself.

And I did. Two years ago, somewhere in the middle of the road, a light shone on me in the presence of Aileen. She took my hand and led me into the light without even trying. I felt something special, more like a mystical connection whenever I am with her. Ten years is a long time. We've not seen each other within that span of time yet somehow she managed to connect to me. And came to me at the most crucial part of my life when I was actually contemplating on taking my life back. For I felt that I had no purpose and meaning to continue my life. And so, I felt it was only just to take it and give it back to the one who gave it to me to God. Aileen told me that she felt that she needed to see me, for she had series of dreams of me, although I didn't say anything in her dreams she felt bothered. I would just pop out in the scene and smile at her. At times, I would just lean on her shoulders. I dont know what is it or how its done, but we have that special connection.

Having her back in my life is one of the best gifts that I ever received from God. I never thought He would give her back to me. Not after I left her in the dark ten years ago. God works in mysterious ways, I know He does. For how can you explain the forgiveness I received from the person I hurt most? I never felt so loved until she came along.

I thank God for giving me Aileen. For finding Stuffy Muffy and teaching her how to cudle and care.  Yes, Aileen is my Gilead.

Abigail Cruz Oliva