Political Tidbits is the prestigious column of Belinda Olivares-Cunanan that ran for 25 continuous years in the op-ed page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the newspaper that she helped put up with its multi-awarded founder, the legendary Eugenia Duran-Apostol, in December 1985, just two months before the EDSA Revolution.

Friday, May 25, 2012

To all those, like this writer, who cannot understand the reason for the devastating sufferings the prayerful and deeply religious Chief Justice Corona and his family are going through at the hands of his very unchristian tormentors, please read this beautiful story, courtesy of a friend, and feel uplifted in spirit. And kindly pass this on to kindred souls who are equally depressed and puzzled over the meaning of what’s happening in our midst.

Some women were in a Bible study class and there was the passage that “He will never leave us, until He sees His image in us. He is always there, holding us in the palm of His hands come what may.” The passage is tied to a verse they were studying, taken from Malachi 3:3, which says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

This verse from Malachi puzzled the women even more than the first passage, and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God and His constancy toward those He loves and who love Him in return.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.

That week the lady called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest---beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire, where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then her thoughts raced back to the verse from Malachi they were studying in the Bible class, that says:  “He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.” She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire THE WHOLE TIME THE SILVER WAS BEING REFINED.

The silversmith answered, yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on it THE ENTIRE TIME IT WAS IN THE FIRE. For if the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.


He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy, when I see my image in it, then I know the silver is truly refined.”

As the story put it, if today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

This story is so apt to describe the situation of CJ Corona today. Doubtless, through all the praying CJ and his family have done together with the legion of prayer warriors behind him all through the months of trial, there doubtless comes a tiny moment of weakness--- such as in recent days, when all the vilification and demonizing has crescendo-ed AND HE IS NOT EVEN BEING GIVEN BY THE SENATORS THE HUMAN RIGHT TO GET SICK (accusing him of faking up the hospitalization and all!)---when he probably wonders if God is still with him. Bakit mukhang pinababayaan siya.

But as Malachi 3:3 puts it, God is right now holding CJ in the middle of the flames WHERE THE HEAT IS HOTTEST---never taking His eyes away from the silver core of His embattled follower’s being---so as to burn away all the impurities from his life. And God can now see His image in the purified soul of this disciple.  As CJ himself put it in a recent interview, God is in control.

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