This is our story from the summer of 1989. KC was 11. MT was 9. AP was 5; then there was Jing, Precy, Lilia and Kathy – them plus me at age 10 made up the cast of the regular summer afternoon girls club in a place called Reyville. Aside from street games and bikes and bathing in the rain, we also share a common fondness for cooking. It’s fun for kids to play grown-ups, and it was never different with us. Complete with aprons and cookbooks we invaded the Poblete Residence’ kitchen. Out comes the egg beater, bowls, pans, measuring spoons and spatula. On the cupboard we found the flour in a big round aluminum container. In the fridge we got the eggs, milk and butter. We were going to make pancakes!
As kids, of course we had to ask permission. Our aunt allowed us on the condition that we will finish eating everything we cook. That made it even more excellent we thought! So we beat and whip and mix and fry and voila! in a matter of minutes we have our own version of pancakes! Some dressed it with maple syrup and butter, others with evaporated milk and chocolate syrup, others with sweetened condensed milk. We didn’t really expect our pancakes to be perfect. As a matter of fact it came out rather rubber-like, not really the spongy texture the way pancakes should be. We disregarded that, it was a product of our hard work and we loved it! Quite honestly, it was difficult to eat it all up, it was like chewing clay. But we have in mind our promise to finish whatever we cooked. So we did!
Early the next morning, all eight of us, had a tummy ache. It was such a puzzle why our version of pancakes was a little difficult to digest. Later in the day, my aunt was going to do the laundry, while holding that big round aluminum container she yelled “who used up all the starch?” Ooopss! That explained the rubber-like texture of our version of pancakes. What we thought was flour, was in fact starch! In the Philippines, starch – normally made from cassava and not corn – is a substance used for laundry to make clothes wrinkle-free. So after having eaten about a dozen pancakes made from it, my intestines probably straightened up. Kids! Kids! Kids! Not only did we cook a mistake, we even ate it!
Looking back on my years of existence, I wonder how many times I cooked a mistake and ate it. I feel at times I refuse to grow up. I stick to my ways, somehow maybe thinking it defines who I am. But I am wrong in that thought. I am defined by my creator. I am who made me. I did cook a lot of mistakes in the past – bad habits I haven’t corrected, sins I haven’t confessed, and wrongdoings I continue on with. I can choose to make it right.
I will one day die and face God. Maybe tonight or tomorrow or the next decade, I can’t really tell. All I know is I want to be a better me when that finally happens. Thankfully those rubbery pancakes I ate some years ago are totally out of my system now. But a heart that is as rubber like as my version of pancakes is not a worthy offering for God. This journey I am on really only brings me closer to God… and closer is where I want to be.