Several weeks ago I met a man named Richard. We had a pleasant surface conversation for a few minutes, then he immediately began to open up.
He told me about his past drug and alcohol addiction—how he’s been clean now for 40 days. He told me about his divorce and how he only can see his son one day a week. And he told me that he hasn’t had a job in months. No matter how often he applies for work, he never gets a callback.
“Right now, I have 49 cents in my pocket,” Richard told me very matter-of-factly. He wasn’t looking for pity. It was simply the reality of his world. He just wanted to tell someone.
In that moment, I felt a surge of energy and love. I told Richard that I would pray for him. I told him that God is leading him and that it’s important that he listen so that he understands the direction he needs to go. I’m not sure Richard truly understood what I was saying, but he listened, smiled, and shook my hand.
Two weeks later I saw Richard again. He was grinning from ear-to-ear. He held up a business card and proudly told me that the name on the business card just offered him a job. A good job. Work in construction. Something he can build on, literally.
“Your prayers were strong. You gave me hope. It was exactly what I needed.”
At that moment, that very special moment, it wasn’t just Richard who was happy. I realized something happened to me, too.
God does indeed answer prayers, but sometimes he does it in a roundabout way. I certainly did not get Richard his job. He did that himself. But God called me to give this troubled man some hope. He called me to comfort Richard’s worries. He gave me the words and emotions of faith.
He called me to be a conduit of His love.
We each encounter hundreds of people every week. We never know what is happening in their lives. Sometimes a simple smile or a sincere hello will bring a person back to life. Sometimes holding a door and offering a polite nod is all that’s needed to let a person know that they belong in our world. Sometimes a hand on the shoulder is all that’s needed to release the struggles of life.
We are all called. It may be a tiny call, but we are all called. If we listen to His voice, and answer this call, it can certainly create special moments.
And then we learn: if we allow ourselves to be conduits, we can truly make a difference in someone’s world.
This month theROCK is focused on appreciating the moments of life.
Dan Herda is an editor of theROCK and a member of the St. Dominic Catholic Parish Marketing Committee.