Coffee and the blind man

By nature I am a silent person. But as time goes by I have become one of those people who are very inquisitive. Lots of questions bother my mind, mostly based on my observations and experiences in life. I would ask people around me, especially those who are close to me, and they sometimes feel irritated because I keep on asking and asking questions about life, like, “Why is it that justice is better served for those who have money?” “Why are there broken families?” “Why is there an unequal distribution of wealth?” and so on. These questions have been lingering on my mind. People tried to offer answers to some of it. As I continue to ponder on these questions and my quest for meaning in life, I put my trust in God.

Coffee beans - Photo: MisyonAs Colossians 1:16 said, “For in Him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Bertrand Russell, Nobel Prize winner in Literature (1950), also said, “Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” These messages inspire me to keep going amidst all the challenges and difficulties before me. Now I can offer everything I do to God. Everything that happens happens for a reason.

One long day, I was walking around the city without knowing where I was going. I finally decided to visit the Scholarships Office of the University of Negros Occidental - Recoletos to ask about the requirements for scholarship. Unfortunately, the day before I inquired was the last day for submission of requirements. I was frustrated, thinking that I just lost a great opportunity. As I was going into the direction of STI West Negros University, I tried my luck there, just in case I would be blessed. I asked about their scholarship program and the requirements. Praise God for one more chance! I applied as a working student and I got accepted.

The author, Ivy Lyn S. Vergara - Photo: Ivy Lyn S. VergaraOn my way home, I passed by Burgos Market and saw a group of people selling instant herbal coffee. I was surprised to see a blind man among them selling coffee despite the mockery and the difficulties he encountered in doing his job. This inspired me and pushed me to inquire about the products they were selling. They gave me a flyer. At first, I was hesitant to contact them but then it dawned on me that maybe this was now the chance for me to earn a living, know myself better and measure my capabilities. I texted the phone number in the flyer and then they invited me to their office for orientation. I attended the training workshops they provided.

Soon enough I was seen as one of them selling herbal coffee in Burgos Market. I am really inspired by my blind trainer. It is unavoidable that I feel hurt at times by our customers. But he inspires me every day with his words of wisdom, the kind of wisdom which I could not find in any classroom but in a person who continues to find joy in life despite the way he had been maltreated by the people around him. I want to be like him, who remains happy in his life serving coffee, serving God.

Ivy Lyn S. Vergara is currently working at a call center in Bacolod City.  She was formerly part of the team at Misyon magazine in the Philippines.

Ivy Lyn S. Vergara with colleagues - Photo: Ivy Lyn S. Vergara