I gave myself a week to prepare before I started my new job. When I initially made the decision, it sounded like a great idea. I was still in that “vacation mode” and I simply did not want to return to the real world yet. To my surprise, the week that I thought would be just another vacation week turned out to be a long spiritual trial and essentially ended me humbly approaching Jesus Christ asking for forgiveness.
The week was a gift from the Lord; I was given complete freedom to do whatever I wished. What I should have done was offer the time back to the Lord. Instead, I used it for my own selfish intentions, and as a result my spirit was left empty, nervous and anxious. Not having a set work schedule makes it hard to get up in the morning, just because I really had no reason to get up. When I did manage to get up, I was left to wander aimlessly. I did go apartment hunting but it turned out to be fruitless. My mind became consumed with “what if” thoughts. Everything I did was centered around my future plans, which only lead to self-imposed stress and fear. I was trying to control my future, which I should know by now does not work. I should have surrendered the week to the Lord and trusted that He would take care of my future plans. Being the kind and considerate Father that the Lord is, of course He did take care of the future; I just made Him do it the hard way, with me resisting at every step of the way.
By the end of the week, when I had finally realized the error of my ways, the Holy Spirit graciously presented a small opportunity for me to make amends. I was taking the subway home one evening and a man came into the train car I was riding in. He sat directly across from me. He had a plastic bag of leftover food and a large keyboard. It was evident that he was homeless and he planned to play the keyboard in the hope of making some money from the passengers riding the train. Normally, I don’t pay much attention to these “performers”, mainly because they usually are just looking for a handout, but this man was different. He had a demeanor that reminded me of Johnny Depp. He was very talkative and said that he wasn’t looking for money, just food. I was compelled to do something for him. I think it was because he understood the reality of his problems and did not wish to beg for anything. He had gone to college, got a degree in music and technology, but was unable to make a living with it. As he played the keyboard, you could see his passion for what he was doing, and just because it didn’t make him money didn’t take away his desire to share his talent with others.
Before I exited the train I realized that I had a bag of Miraculous Medals in my backpack, I kept them there for moments just like these. I hesitated at first; I feared his reaction. It is not unusual for homeless people to get upset with others when they give them seemingly useless things. I was able to overcome the initial fear with the belief that the Holy Spirit put me in this position for the very reason to give the medal to the man. I will never forget the reaction he gave me. When I first handed the Medal to him he graciously took it and said thank you, thinking that it was just some spare change, but when he took a closer look at it, his eyes grew bigger and true excitement came across his face. Praise the Lord for giving me the opportunity to share Mary with someone that night. I can only hope that the Miraculous Medal lifted his spirits as much as it did mine. I owe that man a great deal, because he helped get outside of my selfish thoughts and anxieties and brought me back into the world.