"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Monday, December 03, 2007


"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching." ~ St. Francis of Assissi

I have mentioned in this blog before that God has an uncanny way of knowing what I need even when I am unaware of it and in Her wisdom, She brings me to a place where I will receive it.

That was how last Saturday felt like to me.

I attended this full-day conference last Saturday on Christ@Work. The invite came through my Bible Study group and I was the only one who signed up for it so I went solo.

The conference was really about practical ways on how we can live out our faith in our workplace. I decided to go because it felt appropriate and I guess I felt the need to be reminded on the hows. What I didn't realize was that I had in me a yearning to step back from my life even for just a day, so I can get my spiritual bearings back. I realized during the praise and worship at the beginning of the conference that it has been a while since I had a retreat or recollection and my soul was spent and in need of some TLC. How thoughtful of Aslan to lead me to the conference to replenish my soul.

Then there was also a part of my faith - my smaller than a mustard seed faith - that feels dejected. I acknowledged this feeling of dejection that Saturday. I know exactly why I felt that way. I was weary from praying my heart out for a boy's healing and when the healing came in a way that I was not praying for, I stepped back from the conversation. I withdrew because... well, simply because I felt that I didn't get what I prayed for. So I decided that paying no attention to how I felt was the best route. I guess I just kept brushing it aside. I'd read a verse about faith and praying and it wouldn't resonate with me. I still struggle with this, I will admit, but I want to come to terms with it. But I guess I need to recognize and respect how I feel and give it some space to occupy for a while. After all, as some of the conference speakers mentioned, it is a relationship. This is an ebb in my relationship with God, but the relationship continues. No one has left the room.

Another reason I signed up for this event was that I needed to find a way of dealing with people at work that didn't involve fear or intimidation. I recognize that I can be intimidating sometimes and that draws people away from me. And here's the clincher, I don't usually care about these things. It's par for course for me at work because for me it's crystal clear that it's all about the work. But there was this one speaker, a Christian lawyer who reminded me that one of the Catholic Social Teachings is recognizing that the human person is what matters most. I know that may seem apparent to you all, but that had renewed meaning for me because I was looking at it from the perspective of how I deal with people at work. There is a way to get the work done that doesn't require intimidation. And here's another clincher, I don't go out of my way to be intimidating, I simply come across that way. So there's the challenge right there.

It was mentioned to me by a friend in my choir that I scared some new members sometime back. When I realized that, I tried (and I'm still trying) to temper my temper. Or I take a step back and become reclusive for a bit so as to spare people my bitchiness. I feel that there are only a handful of friends who can still embrace me (literally and figuratively) regardless of who I am. I can't help but give thanks for those brave, brave hearts who choose to see the child, much more than they see the warrior.

I'm still chewing on some of the insights I've learned from the conference. I'm so grateful Christ led me there. May He lead my life and my days today and always. Amen.

(Photo credit: whobeenyou)

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