As the Bamboos Sway: A Theophany with a ‘stupid’ God


Last weekend, I sort of had a theophany, not close to Moses’s burning bush conversation with God but, as I’ve said, just sort of. I did not even have to remove my sandals or shoes for that matter as I approached this bushy ironwood in Baja, Mexico. Nonetheless, it was 110 degrees hot and one can see the heatwaves shrouding the bush on a stony slope facing the Sea of Cortez.

And I dared to ask: “Why naman po, as a prime producer of rice before, are you allowing the Philippines now to import rice and pamahal ng pamahal ang presyo kada gatang? At saka po, the galunggong or G-G, why po now we have to import them from China when we use to have them in abundance?”

Call me crazy but I sort of heard the bush answer: “Because the Philippine president called me stupid. As you know, I am a vengeful God and he has to be punished.”

“But,” I said, “you are not punishing him. He could still eat rice as much as he wants and have viands better than G-G. So does his cohorts and cronies. It’s the multitude of Filipinos who are suffering. They could hardly afford rice anymore and the poor man’s galunggong is becoming beyond their reach.”

“Did I say I am punishing him? I said I am a vengeful God, but I did not say I Myself will inflict the punishment.”

“I am confused.”

“Have you forgotten that I created man in my own image and likeness?”

“I do remember that. You did say that early in Genesis.”

“Yes. As humans are in my own image and likeness, they are gods who can mete out the punishment.”

“But, isn’t the president a man, too?”

“Remember my command when I sent Adam and Eve out of Paradise? I told them to go out and multiply. I meant them to create life and preserve it. Depriving people livelihood, massacring them make them not able to procreate and not preserve life. He and his kind are not my definition of man.”

“But you separated the Red Sea to save the Israelites and vanquish the Pharaoh of Egypt.”

“It would not have separated if Moses did not cast his staff. Ang sabi ko nga, nasa Akin ang awa, nasa inyo ang gawa.”

“But don’t we need a Moses, sort of?”

“You already have a Moses. He had been leading the freedom call close to 50 years now.”

“But not everyone believes him.”

“Not every Israelite believed Moses, too, initially. Only after the 10th plague did the multitude believe.”

“You mean there will be more plagues?”

“Yes, the sufferings will intensify until it comes for the multitude to hear and follow the resounding ‘let my people go.’”

I sort of understood and the ironwood became silent. #


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