This blog entry is about a man named Delfin Ong. No one I know calls him “Mr. Ong.” Everyone I know who knows him refers to him the way I do: “Uncle Delfin.”
Uncle Delfin is arguably the most gentle man I have ever met in my life. I remember meeting him for the first time: he is an usher at Victory Fort Bonifacio, and he welcomed me, a newcomer, to the Fort, with a big hug that took me completely by surprise.
That hug is Uncle Delfin’s trademark. Thinking back, it was not an uncomfortable hug; it felt genuine, warm, pleasant. It was a hug of friendship, of welcoming, of joy, that I was there, to share in the fellowship of God’s family.
I was a total stranger, but our first encounter was that: Uncle Delfin greeted me as if we were the closest of friends, perhaps as father to errant son, telling me this is what it is like to be part of a larger family.
I wouldn’t be surprised to think that Uncle Delfin has hugged arguably thousands of people. God has spoken to people through that hug. That hug has spoken unspoken volumes, telling hurting people that it was going to be okay, consoling grieving people in their hours of needs, and speaking fatherhood to children who never knew what it was like to receive a hug. Uncle Delfin’s hugs may have whispered silent confirmations to people in desperate need of affirmation that they were worthy of affection, of friendship, of love.
I believe God worked through Uncle Delfin’s hugs. I believe that his hugs helped bring about healing – not literal, but the kind that underscored our church’s capacity to welcome anyone in need of a little something extra before the time to worship.
Uncle Delfin is bravely fighting cancer, and we are stubbornly believing that he will receive the miracle for which his family and hundreds of us in the church are believing in faith. Uncle Delfin has already said that he is ready to go; he is clearly at peace with himself and his family. Still, we pray.
I believe Jesus will heal our beloved Uncle Delfin so that we may continue to delight in our time with him. I join the hundreds, if not thousands, of people asking God for more time for him. So many more people deserve to experience Uncle Delfin’s hugs!
Listen to “Healer” by Anthony Evans
But should the time come that God does call Uncle Delfin home, I’d like to think to myself it’s because God wants to sample Uncle Delfin’s hugs for Himself. And how I wish we could all be there to see it. Until that time, fight the good fight, Uncle Delfin! We stand in faith with you. You are loved!