Somewhere in Milaor, Camarines Sur, Philippines, there lived a fourth grader boy who would follow a route to school everyday: He has to cross the rugged plains and cross the dangerous highway where vehicles are recklessly driving to and from.
Once past this highway, the boy would take a short cut, passing by the Church every morning just to say Hi to God, and faithfully say his, "Magandang umaga po" in Bicol dialect. He was faithfully being watched by a Priest who was happy to find innocence so uplifting in the morning,
"Kamusta, Andoy? Papasok ka na?"
"Opo padre ... "he would flash his innocent grin, the priest would be touched. He was so concerned that one day he talked to Andoy.
"From school...", he advised "Do not cross the highway, you can pass through the Church and I can accompany you to the other side of the road...that way I can see that you are home safe...."
"Thank you father ... "
"Why don't you go home ... why do you stay in this church right after school?"
"I just want to say 'Hi' to my friend, God," and the priest would leave the boy to spend time beside the altar, talking to himself, but the priest was hiding behind the altar to listen to what this boy has to say to his heavenly FATHER.
"You know my math exam was pretty bad today, but I did not cheat although my seatmate is bullying me for notes... I ate one cracker and drank my water, Itay had a bad season and all I can eat is this cracker.
Thank you for this! I saw a poor kitten who was hungry and I know how he feels so I gave my last cracker to him ... funny but I am not that hungry.
Look, this is my last pair of slippers ...I may have to walk barefoot next week, you see this is about to be broken... but it is okay....at least I am still going to school.... Some say we will have a hard season this month, some of my classmates have already stopped going to school .... please help them get to school again, please God?
....Oh, you know, Inay hit me again, it is painful, but I know this pain will pass away, at least I still have a mother.... God, you want to see my bruises? I know you can heal them.... Here... here and .... oh ...blood ....I guess you knew about this one huh? Please don't be mad at Inay, she is just tired and she worries for the food in our table and my schooling that is why she hits us....Oh, I think I am in love ... there's this pretty girl in my class, her name is Anita ... do you think she will like me? Anyway, at least I know you will always like me, I don't have to be anybody just to please you, you are my very best friend! Hey your birthday is two days from now!!! Aren't you excited? I am! Wait till you see, I have a gift for you . but it is a surprise! I hope you will like it! Oooops, I have to go ..." then he stood up and calls out, "Padre, padre, I am finished talking to my friend ....
youcan accompany me to the other side of the road now"
This routine happens everyday. Andoy never fails. Father Agaton shares this every Sunday to the people in his church because he has not seen a very pure faith and trust in God, a very positive look at negative situations.
One Christmas day, Father Agaton was sick so he could not make it in the Church, he was sent to the hospital. The Church was left to 4 manangs who would chant the rosary in 1000 miles per hour, would not smile and would always find fault in what you do, they were also very well versed in cursing if you irritate them! They were kneeling, saying their kilometric rosary when Andoy, coming from his Christmas party,playfully dashed in.
"Hello God! I ......"
"P----!! (a curse) bata ka!! Alam mo nang may nagdadasal!! Alis!!"
Poor Andoy was so terrified, "Where's Father Agaton? He is supposed to help me cross the street ... and to be able to cross the street I will have to pass by the back door of this church .not only that, I have to greet Jesus. It is His birthday, I have a gift right here....
" Just as he was about to get the gift out of his shirt, the manang pulled his shirt and threw him out of the church. "Susmaryosep!!! (does the sign of the cross fervently) Alis kang bata ka, kung hindi matatamaan ka!!!
So the boy had no choice but to cross the dangerous side of the road in front of the church. He crossed. A fast moving bus came in.
There was a blind curve. The boy was protecting his gift inside his shirt, so he was not looking. There was so little time. Andoy died on the spot. A lot of people crowded the poor boy, the body of a lifeless young boy ...
Suddenly, out of nowhere a tall man in a pure white shirt and pants, a face so mild and gentle, but with eyes full of tears... He came and carried the boy in His arms. He was crying. Curious bystanders nudged the man in white, and asked,
"Excuse me sir, are you related to this child?
Do you know this child?"
The man in white, His face mourning and in agony, looked up and answered,
"He was my best friend . " was all he said. He took the badly wrapped gift in the bloody chest of the lifeless boy, and placed it near His heart.
He stood up and carried the boy away and they both disappeared in sight.
The crowd was curious ...
On Christmas Eve, Father Agaton learned of the shocking news. He visited the house, and wanted to verify about the man in white. He consulted the parents of Andoy.
"How did you know that your son died?"
"A man in white brought him here." sobbed the mother. "What did he say?"
The father answered, "He did not say anything. He was mourning. We do not know him and yet he was very lonely about our son's death, as if he knew our son very well. But there was something peaceful and unexplainable about him.
He gave me my son, and then he smiled peacefully. He brushed my son's hair away from his face and kissed him on his forehead, then he whispered something..."
"What did he say?"
"He said to my boy..." the father began, "Thank you for the gift .... I will see you soon ... you will be with me..." and the father of the boy continued, "and you know for a while, it felt so
wonderful ... I cried, but I do not know why....all I know is I cried tears of joy .... I could not explain it, Father, but when that man left, something peaceful came over me, I felt a deep sense
of love inside ... I could not explain the joy in my heart, I knew my boy is in heaven now but...tell me, Father, who is this man that my son talks to everyday in your church, you should know because you are always there ... except at the time of his death ......"Father Agaton suddenly felt the tears welling in his eyes, with
trembling knees, he murmurred, " ... He was talking to no one ......
but .. GOD...."