This evening I was asking my mom how come we didn’t have any recollection in preparation for the Easter triduum. I felt my soul dry and asked God for relief.

I rummaged my treasures from my memories and the books I read and three things came to my mind…

Of Crabs, Onions And Caterpillar Columns: An Easter Reflection

By: Melissa Tandoc

I remembered my grandmother, when I was three, recounting Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Onion,” a fable from The Brothers Karamazov:

Once upon a time there was a peasant woman and a very wicked woman she was. And she died and did not leave a single good deed behind. The devils caught her and plunged her into the lake of fire. So her guardian angel stood and wondered what good deed of hers he could remember to tell to God; ‘She once pulled up an onion in her garden,’ said he, ‘and gave it to a beggar woman.’ And God answered: ‘You take that onion then, hold it out to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out. And if you can pull her out of the lake, let her come to Paradise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is.’ The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her. ‘Come,’ said he, ‘catch hold and I’ll pull you out.’ He began cautiously pulling her out. He had just pulled her right out, when the other sinners in the lake, seeing how she was being drawn out, began catching hold of her so as to be pulled out with her.
But she was a very wicked woman and she began kicking them.
‘I’m to be pulled out, not you. It’s my onion, not yours.’
As soon as she said that, the onion broke. And the woman fell into the lake and she is burning there to this day.


God planted a seed inside my heart that day when I heard that story.

There’s magic in the word ‘pull out’… pulling out souls…

It was when I started working that I understood it more.

We Filipinos are known for our crab mentality.

Lea Salonga once said that she was the crab that got out of the basket.

Hearing this, my desire was again reinforced. I wished I were the crab who pulled out the others from the basket.

I realized, it’s not only crabs but caterpillars as well…

Who trampled others like them in order to get to the top…

But Christ’s ways are so different from ours.

“He made Himself nothing
By taking the very nature of a servant…
He humbled Himself
By becoming obedient to death —-
Even death on a cross!”-Phil.2:7-8

He pulled us out of our iniquities…
And saved us from our sins…
He loved us.

His cross was our triumph.

He died and went before us to Galilee…He walked with us to Emmaus…

The onion we broke because of our selfishness was replaced by the Bread He shared with His people…

The crab that pulled people down became the fish Christ caught to become bearers of light…

And the caterpillar column is the Cross Christ took… the road of Passion, Death and Resurrection.

I embrace this transformed life Christ offers us today.

Melissa Tandoc is a nurse by profession but currently works as staff for a medical journal. She draws, writes blogs and plays instruments in her leisure time. A natural lover of children, she spends her Saturday afternoons with them teaching songs and prayers. Please visit her blog here.

I’m so glad to call Melissa friend. She has packed a lot of knowledge, reading,travel, languages and experience in to her life so far. Melissa is a young woman of great faith and one of the gentlest and most loving people I’ve interacted with. Thank you for sharing, Melissa. I hope this is the first of many posts by you here.

Wishing you all the joys of Easter.

May you be inspired – every day!

 Source: Turri Design-  The Onion story and picture; Source of the crab picture; Source of the picture of Jesus (personalized by Melissa Tandoc)