The comet of the century is blazing across the sky. The sages say: it is either the harbinger of horrors or a herald for abundance, depending on the comet’s shape and color.  But a few days ago, scientists were taken by surprise, as the comet dramatically brightened. No one understands why but unexpectedly, the comet decided to glow brilliant.

I would like to believe we created the stellar show. The comet thought we’d blunder after the perfect storm, and primed to fire up with the colors of Mars, planet of war, anger and discord. Except. The comet hurled into space and saw something else.  In tiny specks surrounded by blue, there they were, the colors of the world’s flags, of service to the powerless and weak.  The white, the brown, the black, and the yellow races, all in one place at one time, with no reason or agenda, except to lend a hand.  This planet was not the survival of the fittest; it was every neighbor as oneself. And thus, the supposed bearer of tempests and plagues, beamed at this wondrous spectacle of humanity, and fired up so she could be a beacon in the sky.

Because while we haven’t had a mighty storm in hundreds of years, we also haven’t had such triumphant show of the human spirit in centuries.

The entire world is praying for islands and islets they can’t even pronounce.  Children everywhere are drawing hearts, giving up piggy banks and toys for another child. Selfies and food porn have been superseded by selfless and soup kitchens.  You proudly declare yourself Filipino, changing your profile to red, white, blue, and a radiant sun.  Suddenly, the tarnished Philippine flag has become a message of hope. Suddenly people are parting with tradition and Christmas parties. Suddenly compassion that moves you to tears or action is no longer cheesy. Suddenly, welfare and camps are full to bursting with packages and volunteers so you will have to wait your turn.

You behold images of war: soldiers; helicopters; jet planes; and enormous boxes being air dropped. Except. There’s no war.  There are no sides.  No one is fighting. The soldiers, those things flying in or falling from the sky, they are there for one agenda: an understanding that humanity is one. And that one man’s battle is everyone else’s.

It might have taken the storm of 300 years to wake us up but humanity is awake all right.  Because without this onslaught, without all of us being uprooted from the mundane everyday, and without the tempest, the destruction, and death, we might have remained content, stuck up and selfish, finding joy in selfies or food porn, and ignorant of the Grand Scheme.

This darkness didn’t just creep in, it stormed, and judged, and crucified us.  Our temples are in ruins, there was a great flood, and thousands are buried in mud.  And we could have given in to the savagery- stayed true to our supposed nature where only the fittest survive. But we are slowly rousing to empathy and compassion, and to a unified world that is choosing Good.

And so now there’s a blazing comet journeying towards the sun.  And I’d like to believe it is a herald for our rebirth, that beacon in the sky.

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


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