Radical Friendship

 (John Carlo Palejon, SFL Calauan, Laguna)
It was April 2011 when I was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Failure, since then I have been undergoing dialysis sessions regularly (twice a week). From then on, the only reason for me to leave the house is going to the hospital for my dialysis session, going to church to attend mass, attending house hold and other gatherings with my brothers and sisters in SFL, and going to a nearby mall if I need to buy anything for me and for my younger brother.  Going to Tagaytay was not even in my plans for it maybe a risk for my health if I went.
But one Sunday morning in a gathering at the Agronomy building in UPLB, Sis Eya approached me, asked me if I could join the Committed Servants Weekend in Tagaytay and if maybe I could share part of my life with the other participants there. At first I hesitated for the reason that I am afraid that I might not be physically strong enough to go there and there could be an emergency regarding my health because I’ve been congested and had a hard time breathing just then.
But then she asked me to just give it a try. She also said that God won’t let anything happen to me there because I would be there to be with Him. I know I couldn’t just decide to go because I have to consult my parents first. So that day I asked for my parent’s permission. And with a lot of reminders they granted me the permission to go.
Then it came October 8. I was able to attend the gathering and listen to the inspirational talks. During  the exposition of the Holy Eucharist as I knelt in front I can say that I really felt God’s presence. I could feel Him reassuring me that I am in safe hands for He will be with me always. Tears fell down my face as I committed myself to Him, letting Him know that I am willing to spend my life serving Him in every little way I can.
With God’s leading I have shared that evening with my brothers and sisters how I spent half of my life being enslaved by my sins, and how I eventually chose to be God’s friend.
The day after, during the closing praise fest I had a terrible cough and I began to breathe heavily. That was the time I felt my radical God treat me like any friend would. That even if I sinned repeatedly in front of Him He remained to be a friend to me, a radical friend who loves me so much that would lay His hands for me through all my brothers and sisters. As they lay their hands on me I immediately felt relief. I knew that in that moment God was embracing me and pampering me with His love. During that moment I knew God intended me to be there, to be an inspiration to my fellow singles and to be really blessed by spending time with Him as His friend.