Coming Into Your Presence

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By Tess Martinez

Your Whispers And Swaying Branches

Thank you for the many robust trees abounding to the left of and at the front of our simple dwelling. Standing on our terrace at night, watch the swaying branches and feel the strong winds from nearby Laguna Lake caressing our whole body is a wholesome feeling indeed amidst our humid summer nights. While the entire city complains of dense humidity, our place is gifted with abundant fresh air.

While sharing with my husband over a bowl of steamed peanuts and brewed coffee, we could not help but thank God for the beauty of nature around us. Soon a number of trees will be cut to give way to a 38-story condominium about a hundred meters away from our house.

My Worry

With the cutting of trees, will it mean the departure of the normal abundance of birds found in our surroundings? High-rise structures are creeping fast, sadly disturbing the natural beauty of terrain we have known for more than thirty years. Our children witnessed the growth of the beautiful trees surrounding us. A few months from now, our grandson Kenet will no longer see the abundant, robust trees my husband would normally introduce him to. Will there be enough oxygen for him to live a healthy life as in our times?

Will there still be enough birds perching on our terrace, scouting for a place to make their nest? Will there be enough branches to move in the wind and cool-off the air and soothe our bodies during summer?

How I wish developers would soon realize the importance of trees in our ecology system. I pray, instead of cutting big trees, developers must provide open spaces for them. Moving out to the countryside is perhaps a better alternative where nature still abounds, crickets freely hum, birds roam without fear of man’s presence, wild flowers are in abundance and tall grass encroach upon lush vegetable gardens.

Simple Joy

We usually do our sharing and Bible reading on our terrace fronting the neeml trees, coconut palms, rubber trees and mahogany trees which reach great heights, towering higher than a two-story house. These 30-year old trees have weathered the strongest typhoons in the past and withstood the cruelest summer heat, yet they can not withstand the bulldozer.

The Holy Spirit Passing By

We always attribute the strong winds and swaying of big branches with the passing of the Holy Spirit. The trees are dancing as if praising and looking up to the heavens. The rustling of leaves and the breath of blowing of winds are good music to the ears.

The Stars

The stars are our witness. We put off all lights to make the stars more evident. Aside from the street lights, the moon and heavenly stars light our terrace. My father told us when we were small the moon and stars were God’s light for the country people. They are free, no monthly electric bills.

Birds Chirping

It’s 4:42 in the morning. I’m up to do my morning devotions and this article. The little birds are singing. The insects are humming. The roosters are crowing. Ah…all natural sounds will soon give way to the noise of radios, televisions and compact disc filling the air.

The Silence
After my favorite coffee, my meditations follow in the midst of undisturbed surroundings. I feel peace creeping into my whole being. I can even hear the beating of my heart. Awesome feeling indeed! Just like entering into a new season of life. I want to stay forever in His presence. How wonderful it is to be alone with God! Could it be a little taste of Heaven on earth?

The Noise

As early as 7:00 a.m., the sounds of bulldozers, the relentless pounding of hammers and all other kinds of construction noise will dominate the day. Shouts and whistles from workers can be overheard. I never miss praying for the workers in the nearby condominium construction. They are the breadwinners of their families. The generous contractor gave me boulders for my garden.

The Railroad Dwellers

Massive and rapid changes are ongoing. Progress has taken its place and more structures will invade nature. The vegetable gardens of the nearby railway dwellers will be gone√Ę‚ā¨¬¶another sad story of losing a means of livelihood for poor people who will be relocated soon.

Relocation will mean much to me. Our laundry woman, Manang Nena of more than thirty years will be gone. The new Metro rail system will ease out thousands of families, the so-called urban poor. Everything will be beautiful to the human eyes, but behind all those developments, most of these poor families’ means of livelihood will be gone. They co-exist with village dwellers by providing services.

God Will Provide

God will always provide ways and means for everybody to survive. Those who are left are middle-income families and the millionaires in the new exclusive villages. Indeed, this so-called progress is for the fortunate few but a bleak reality for the poor. How ironic life can be!


I pray dear God that for the changes going on, Your loving and compassionate presence will manifest. May Your love reign among neighbors and may Your provisions be with those leaving in search of a better life.

Eustacia “Tess” Martinez copyright 2007

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About the Author


Brenda Craig is a published author, prophetic teacher and Seer whose desire is to know the Lord in all His fullness. Her writings and teachings reflect a deep intimacy with the Lord. As a worshiper, Brenda has received revelation on how to take the simple act of ‚ÄúSoaking in His Presence‚ÄĚ to a new level and developed a teaching called Soaking with a Purpose.

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