I say a little prayer

There are no words. Now is the time to really step up, and give much of yourself — your time, your resources — hopefully until it hurts. So much needs to be done, where do we even start? Wherever you can, with whatever you immediately have.

I always say charity begins at home. Before heading off to any relief operations depot, look in your own backyard first. Chances are, your househelp, cook, or maybe your driver needs just as much or even more help than the next person. Start with them. And then move out and stretch some more, such that your generosity touches one more friend, a few more strangers, each day. Don’t stop, even when you think you are already helping in either too small or too big a way. In this case, there is no such thing. There should be no labels to the kind of help you can extend. Let the human spirit triumph and be sensitive to the stirrings in your heart. God speaks to you there in that still, small voice. Please be very, very generous. And really give. Until it hurts.

Make room for a little discomfort in your life right now. Compassion opens that space up for all of us. Even if you have directly suffered from the onslaught of Ondoy, count your blessings still. Think of how much was escaped. Yes, you are allowed to lament over all that you lost materially but at some point you have to let it go. And let it be. It is what it is. Help the suffering to keep your mind off your own suffering. Trust that someone out there will also be looking out for you — that is how God works. Let the beautiful cycle of humanity continue with you and through you.

We all relate to the experience personally, in measures that may differ like night and day, but looking forward hopefully we can rise above as individuals and as a people — bigger, better, wiser. Please, dear God, let us be wiser, let this experience be enough to wake us all up from deep sleep, and pretend sleep. Teach us how to respect Mother Earth once again. Gently remind us how dependent we are on your mercy, how so very helpless we really, truly are without you.

Focus on how much bigger and greater our God is than all the Ondoys and Pepings in this world. It is so easy to panic, to worry, to be anxious about what the future can hold. Through all this, remember that prayers can move mountains. Keep the faith and let hope spring eternal.

When I feel the beginnings of fear stirring inside me I pray Psalm 91. It is a beautiful prayer for protection. It never fails to give me more than just a little measure of peace. Cut the prayer out, pray it as a family. Every day.

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Whoever goes to the Lord for safety

Whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty

Can say to Him

You are my Defender and Protector

You are my God, in You I trust

He will keep me safe from all hidden dangers

And from all deadly diseases

He will cover me with His wings

I will be safe in his care

His faithfulness will protect and defend me

I need not fear any dangers at night

Or sudden attacks during the day

Or the plagues that strike in the dark

Or the evils that kill in daylight

A thousand may fall dead before me

Ten thousand all around me

But I will not be harmed

I will look and see how the wicked are punished

I have made the Lord my Defender

The most High my Protector

And so no disaster will strike me

No violence will come near my home

God will put His angels in charge of me to protect me wherever I go

He will hold me up with His hands

To keep me from hurting my feet on the stones

He will trample down lions and snakes

Fierce lions and poisonous snakes

God says, “ I will save those who love me

And will protect those who acknowledge me as Lord

When they call to me, I will answer them

When they are in trouble I will be with them

I will rescue them and honor them

I will reward them with long life

I will save them.

* * *

If you have P100 or P1,000 or P1,000,000 to share but know not where to give it, you can deposit your donation to the Philippine National Red Cross. Here are the bank details:

Metrobank Port Area Branch

Peso Account 151-3-041-63122-8

Dollar Account 151-2-151-00218-2 (Swift Code MBTC PH MM)

BDO Port Area

Peso Account 453-00000-20 (Savings)

BPI Port Area

Peso Account 4991-0010-99 (Current)

BPI UN Branch

Dollar Account 8114-0030-94 (Savings, Swift Code BOPI PH MM)

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