DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/26 June)–I have a story to tell.

It’s about a heartwarming story of a person who had to forego of things he loved most so another could live. It’s about a friend who decided to give one of his kidneys to an ailing brother who hopefully may live a longer and fruitful life.

My friend, RENNE SUBIDO, had been doing Mindanao development work in various fields in the private sector for years. I knew him when he was at a USAID project doing Mindanao during my stint with government. He later on became a top executive at a big international fishing company owned by General Santos City-based businessman RUDY RIVERA (father of the new Gensan Mayor RONNEL). I also worked closely with Renne at TVIRD, an affiliate of a Canadian mining company where he is presently one of its top executives.

Months before the organ donation, Renne talked to me about the need to forego of many things if he would donate his kidney to brother NANDY. There would be health risks, change of lifestyle, even some shifts in workloads and schedules. Even change of residence. Although there were obvious concerns, it was clear to me that there was not a single sign of hesitation to proceed. We all know that brothers’ organs normally match and minimize organ rejection in a transplant.

Last Friday, just the following day after a successful operation, I visited RENNE at a Davao hospital with TVIRD President CLIFF JAMES (who flew from Manila) and it was re-assuring that both brothers were doing fine.

I decided to mention Renne’s story on the occasion of the feast of SAINT JOSEMARIA ESCRIVA, the founder of OPUS DEI.

I attended last Friday a concelebrated mass presided over by Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles at the Sacred Heart Parish Church in marking the feast of the Spanish priest who founded in 1928 OPUS DEI, now a world-wide organization that does work simply in the way ‘OPUS DEI” literally means: WORK OF GOD. Its members, both religious and lay, “sanctify” themselves through their ordinary and daily work in their workplaces. June 26 is actually the feast day.

I had been reading lately Msgr. Escriva’s book entitled “THE WAY — FURROW THE FORGE” given to me by a friend, Dabawenyo BOYET QUINTO. Very inspiring!

Indeed, even laymen who are non-religious, by doing their day-to-day activities or acts in the service of God or fellowman is a work of God.

An ordinary worker or a high executive, in the farm or in hi-tech plush offices, in the barangays or in the cities, can sanctify themselves with their own acts of selflessness, charity, sacrifice — just simply (by) doing good. Period!

There are many other such stories that may not be known to others. Like treating one’s househelp or family driver like family. Or adopting an employee’s child to school. Or giving extra beyond earned wages or salaries. A million and one similar acts or works of God.

It need not be to the extent which RENNE did to brother NANDY. Remember Christ’s words: “What you do unto others, you do unto me.” (Lawyer Jesus G. Dureza was government peace panel chair in the negotiations with the MILF under the Arroyo administration from 2001 to 2003 and was later named Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (2005 to 2008). He heads Advocacy MindaNOW Foundation, Inc. and was recently named publisher of the Davao City-based Mindanao Times. This piece is from his syndicated column, Advocacy MindaNOW).