Many years ago I was in a Women’s Scripture Study group. The facilitator tasked us with writing a reflection on how we could “give back to God” for all the gifts He had given each of us.
At the time, my children were young—3 and 4-1/2. I was in awe of the blessing of being a parent. (For the record, I still am!)
I had just recently attended a day-long Ministers’ Retreat at our parish. We brought in a priest from outside the parish and I was asked to provide hospitality. I set up a nice continental breakfast and had sandwiches ready for the midday break. When the ministers were asked to relocate to the church for the opening session, the priest approached me and asked me to join them.
I told him that I was just there to provide hospitality and besides, I was the Parish Secretary, not a Minister. He said something to me that day that changed my life. He told me that there was no such thing as “just a Parish Secretary”. He explained that, indeed, I was not a Minster of the Word, or a Minister of the Eucharist. I did not facilitate a Bible Study or act as an Usher at Sunday Mass.
Instead, I ministered to the ministers. I ministered to every person that walked in the front door of our parish office. I was often the first person they saw that represented the parish and perhaps the Church.
So I set aside “Martha” (I still had to clean up the breakfast), followed him to the church, and became “Mary” for the morning. At a short break, I told Father that I was back in Martha mode, worrying about setting up lunch. He said he would find a few people to help me and the group would delay lunch by a few minutes and we could get it set up AFTER the morning session was completed.
At the conclusion of the day, we sang “Here I am, Lord”. To this day, I still cry every time I hear/sing that song. It reminds me that God intended for me to be there FOR HIM just as He is here for us. God has no hands by ours; hands to do His work, arms to embrace a lost soul.
God places people and situations in our lives all the time that will lead us to the answers. We just need live with our eyes, minds, and hearts open to these opportunities.
Lord, You’ve given me many gifts in my life.
You placed me with parents who truly love me and then you stayed by to offer counsel and support.
You helped me find someone with whom I can share my life; a man who is genuine and supportive.
You placed in my arms two of your sweetest angels and trusted me with the responsibility of raising them.
You steered me to a job that allows me to serve you in a very special way.
You gave me friends who are always there for me with love and support and sometimes just a sympathetic ear…friends who allow me to be myself.
You’ve given me so much…probably more than I deserve. It’s time for me to start giving something back to you.
I will glorify You by allowing my job to be a special way to serve your people.
I will glorify You by being a responsible parent to your little angels.
I will glorify You by being the best friend I can for the people who count on me to be genuine and caring.
In my work, in my friends, in my family, in every aspect of my life, I WILL GIVE GLORY TO YOU, O LORD!