Can I Keep You

Can I keep you?

This could be the line that made many teenagers go kilig watching the movie Casper. Sometimes, I want to say something similar to people I’ve become very fond of, but not in a romantic kind of way. Let me explain.

I just got back from my aunt’s surprise birthday party for her 60 years here on Earth. We all had a totally hilarious time. I didn’t expect that I would laugh so much. It’s just that four out of her five siblings are innately comical. The nieces and nephews are very talented. Someone recited three especially written haikus (dedicated to the celebrant), one gave an ala-Kuya-Kim trivia, another rendered song numbers. Aside from the videos, the siblings each gave special messages, and one of my uncles even sang a song off key with super emote feelings as another aunt interpreted the song through actions, for the life of me…”Hey Jude…” There was no alcohol served in the party but the waiters (in that restaurant) must be wondering how come the guests look drunk.

As I laughed my heart out tonight, I couldn’t help but thank God and think “Oh, how I love my family. They are such a treasure!” At the same time, I wondered if I would be seeing all of them in Eternity.

I don’t want to part ways with any of them when the time comes for us to step into Eternity. As one of them spoke on the microphone, I wondered if he had already surrendered his life to Jesus. (Some of my relatives are already Christians, but for some of them, I’m not yet sure…) I wondered how I would feel if I eventually find out that he is not going to heaven, but then it is already too late. Would I feel regret because I had not done my part?

I love each one of them. But my favorite uncle, I’m not yet sure if he’s already saved. There is a line that clearly distinguishes those who have life in the Son, and those who don’t. And how happily we celebrate life and how tightly we embrace each other, will not determine really where each one will go after this life. Each one must hear as another testifies, and the unsaved must come to a decision. The Gospel may partially be preached through an embrace or word of encouragement, but ultimately it has to be preached as a message requiring a decision. Scripture may be shared to encourage but the truth of sin and the need for repentance and the good news of the free gift of salvation must be clearly conveyed as necessary steps to crossing over to the other side. There is no other way but through the cross.

“Can I keep you?” one young lady would say. But God, I imagine, is also saying the same to each one of them. We wonder if they could hear. I wonder if they a have heard, and if it has to be heard through me.


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