Notable Numbers

By: Ely Lagajino

You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Luke 12:40 (ESV)

There are prominent people, and notable numbers, such as lucky 13, perfect 7, Kobe’s jersey numbers 8 and 24, and the dreaded pandemic Covid-19. But the most famous childhood numbers we often hear complete the phrase “ready 1, 2, 3”.

A month, before our elementary graduation a well-dressed man offered a photo graduation shoot with a discounted price. The photographer would take the pictures using his camera, and the school would pay for his services; and have the films developed by the school personnel, themselves.

On graduation day the photographer arrived with bad news, “I’m sorry, my flash broke on my way here”. There was no time to find a replacement in a remote barangay. And that’s why we had to meet at 3:00 while the sun was still up, before our actual graduation program at 6:00 pm.

Grades five and six started the pantomime marching as the photographer focused his camera on us, reciting his famous lines, “ready one-two-three; smile,” as he made a loud click on his camera. The pantomime folk dance and singing followed. It was an awkward situation for everybody. Revealing of honors was a top-secret but the students had to be called one by one for a pantomime pinning. I could sense the embarrassing look on the parents’ and the teacher’s faces perhaps thinking of going through the whole sequences again; but for us children, we didn’t mind, especially when we thought we would eat the food in advance too.

The photographer handed the films to the teachers, collected the fee, counted 1, 2, 3, and walked away with a big smile.

Everything went perfectly well in the official graduation ceremony. But the next day, the principal returned with a very sad face from the film developer. Not even a single image was seen in the twelve rolls of films. Our teachers realized that the camera too was broken.

We may lose everything in these COVID 19 pandemic, our jobs, businesses, and actual graduation ceremonies, but are we still ready to count 1, 2, 3 for Christ’s soon return?

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