Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What is God calling you to do?

"As far as I am concerned, the greatest suffering is to feel alone, unwanted, unloved. The greatest suffering is also having no one, forgetting what an intimate, truly human relationship is, not knowing what it means to be loved, not having a family or friends." - Mother Theresa

This past Saturday, we shared soup and conversation many brothers and sisters whom we are seeing on a regular basis. One such quiet gentleman, Andy, we have gotten to know a little through our lunch time. He recently lost his job as a line cook and has not been able to secure another one yet. Living at the missions means he has to use that as his address on job applications. Many businesses aren't willing to hire someone who doesn't even have a permanent address. It's unfortunate, but true. He mentioned that he was happy to have a vacation after working ten years without one, but is now getting a little antsy to start working again.

Because Andy loves to cook, he asked how to make the curried carrot chicken soup that we were serving. We talked as friends do about cooking tips and recipes, yet I couldn't help thinking after we left that we need to do something more to help our brother, Andy. A lot of homeless men and women are truly trying to gain employment and secure a permanent residence. What slows down the process for them is that they don't have an advocate. They are alone in their situation.
We pray for discernment in how to help him and others.

If you or I were to suddenly be without a job, get sick and incur medical debt and lose our home, we would most likely be taken in by family or friends in our faith community. Our family and communities are tremendous gifts from God created to help us along in life. Most reading this blog were born into a decent life. That doesn't mean we aren't sinners without problems. By God's grace alone have we been saved from some of our mistakes.

"Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?
If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too." Psalm 139

Personally, I've been picked up from the gutter of drugs after getting mixed up with the wrong crowd after high school. I moved far away from home and into a place full of what I now see as true evil. I was very close to death one night and my "friends" were along for the ride. Crying out to God, He saved me from the clutches of the enemy.

There was one friend - or angel, as I like to refer to him - that helped me to return home to my family. I thank God and pray for this friend continually, even though I have not seen him since. Little did I know at the time that my parents were praying the rosary every night for me. If it weren't for my family I would definitely have wound up living on the streets or worse. Prayers work miracles. Prayers bring God's power through His Son Jesus Christ to those in need. I was one of those in dire need and will never forget His saving power. Of course, I still covet that saving power every day!

"if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

God doesn't need us to accomplish His plans. To praise Him and acknowledge Him as our Savior and friend is a gift. Our prayers are the first step in working miracles in the lives of the poor and downtrodden. The second step comes when the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts to act somehow. Do we ask the Lord each morning to use us for His purpose? Do we pray for him to heal our blindness and deny ourselves so that others may have more?

A priest once told me, "God wants you to do what He wants YOU to do. No one else can do the mission God has planned for you." We may be the only one to help another brother or sister who is without family or friends. We may be the one whom God called to help someone back into a relationship with His Son.

What does God want you to do? Only in silence will we hear him calling.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ reign in your hearts, your minds and on your lips today and always.