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An Easter Reflection

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)


    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 15, 2012

      Thanks, Tameka. Didn’t Melissa do a fab job. Simple stories – yet so wise and so well connected too.

  1. Bella Bella April 11, 2012

    Corinne and Melissa, while Easter has already passed, I read this post with fresh eyes this afternoon and sighed at the beautiful message behind it. Indeed, we should be thankful for God’s sacrifice that awarded our salvation. Thank you for the reminder that we are only here because of His generosity and love!
    Bella recently posted..Is this the way Starbucks makes lemon cake?My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 12, 2012

      I’m glad the message spoke to you, Bella. The message of God’s love is timeless.

  2. Jessica Jessica April 9, 2012

    Beautiful post for Easter…Just read it now, but it was a great reflective reading for the morning. Thank you Melissa!

  3. Mary Mary April 9, 2012

    That was a lovely story. I think the crab mentality exists wherever the love for Jesus is missing or hidden away. The antidote would be to share His love and the Good News he offers to all. What a challenge that is but I think that’s how we can help the other crabs get out of the basket without getting pulled back in ourselves.

    Happy Easter and have a good week ahead!

    Best regards,
    Mary recently posted..My SonMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 10, 2012

      That’s very true, Mary. I see the crabs all around. Our challenge is to stay focused on all that is good and true.

  4. Heal Now and Forever Heal Now and Forever April 9, 2012

    Did you change your comment widget? This is great! Love the story of the woman and the onion. Other cultures are so much more generous than ours, we really need to change this! I think I might recycle this story.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 9, 2012

      Yes, I changed the commenting system, Jodi.
      I think we can find richness in every culture, it’s just that we sometimes chose to be selfish. Melissa has provided the link for the story at the bottom of this post.

  5. Anne Anne April 9, 2012

    A beautiful piece for reflection. Lovely post!

  6. Myrna Myrna April 9, 2012

    Nice story.

    Hope you all had a Happy Easter.

  7. Thank you for this post Melissa and Corinne. It’s something to reflect upon even after Easter. It is by giving that we receive, and it is by dying that we gain eternal life. He who wishes to save his own life will lose it, but he who gives up his own life for others and especially for Jesus will have it, and he shall have it to the full!
    Joyce at I Take Off The Mask recently posted..Love Is Always Within Our ReachMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 9, 2012

      Thank you, Joyce. Yes it’s something that we should reflect upon right through the year!

  8. David Smith David Smith April 9, 2012

    The crab mentality is alive and well here in USA also…It’s sad that people want nothing more that to pull others down into misery with them. I wish we would adopt a Christ-like attitude and help others out of difficult. Wonderful story!! Happy Easter!!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 9, 2012

      Thanks, David. Yes I do see that it’s a world-wide phenomenon. It’s up to us to be different.

  9. Irene Irene April 8, 2012

    Hi Melissa 🙂

    I can totally relate to the “crab mentality.” It saddens me that it is very rampant in our country.

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post of how Christ pulled us out from our sins and brought us salvation. This is what gives me hope. 🙂

    Thank you for having Melissa, Corinne! Happy Easter to both of you! <3 🙂
    Irene recently posted..The Patience Of A PuppyMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 9, 2012

      I think the crab mentality exists around the world, Irene. We just have to ignore it and move on and like Melissa said, learn to pull others out!

  10. nelieta nelieta April 8, 2012

    I enjoyed this so much! Melissa, you are an inspiration to many women out there, including me! God bless Melissa and have a Happy Easter.

    Thank you for sharing this Corinne and Happy Easter to you and your family.
    nelieta recently posted..Why?My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 9, 2012

      Melissa is indeed most inspiring, Nelieta. And so are you. Wishing you the joys of Easter.

  11. Bongo Bongo April 7, 2012

    What a beautiful story Melissa.. My hope is that No matter what that I don’t kick..but continue to pull people out…..Thank you Corinne for having Melissa here..Happy Easter…..As always…XOXOXOXO

  12. Roy Durham Roy Durham April 7, 2012

    This is a wonderful post i love it god bless you and Melissa <3 <3 the both of you
    Roy Durham recently posted..Friday momentMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 9, 2012

      Don’t you think she did a great job, Martha? Thank you for your reflections too.

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