When I was way younger, right about 8-9 years old, one of the gifts that I received for Christmas is a toy magic wand. I knew it was a magic wand the moment I unwrapped it, but I didn’t know how to ‘use’ it. I knew it has batteries inside already! And that it is supposed to light up or make a sound or something when I wave it or shake it. So, I felt kind of frustrated. But before I could ask, my cousin who gave it came to me and showed me how to play with it.
There are things that you are effortlessly good at and things that you want to be good at. Like gifts, there are ones that once unwrapped, are ready-to-use, but there are others that, at first sight, you just can’t easily figure out what to do with them or how you could use them, but you know you want to use them for something.
Looking After and Responding to the Needs of Other People
I am the baby in the family and the only girl among the three kids of my parents, so I am so used to not having any responsibilities such as looking after a younger sibling because I don’t have one or an older grandparent because, although we lived with our paternal grandfather, someone else is responsible of taking care of him.
When I was in college, that’s when I started to learn about looking after other people. I still didn’t necessarily have to take care of someone in particular. When I had to accompany and assist a friend to the hospital for her check-up with her OB-Gynecologist and I eventually stayed for an unexpectedly longer period of time when she had a miscarriage; and I had to also accompany another friend whose father was rushed to the hospital and, unbeknownst to her, was in a coma and died moments before we arrived, (those two events happened within a week) it was like I was awakened from a deep slumber and was made aware of the things that I have to do for the people around me.
Getting Along With Kids
On the first few months of our migration here in the US, during the time when I was still looking for a job, my cousin had me come to her house to help her with some stuff as she works at home. In one of those times, I had spent a few hours looking after her 2-year-old son while she was working because the babysitter wasn’t around that day.
I didn’t know how to take care of babies because, as I mentioned, I was the youngest in the family. I didn’t know how I was able to pull it off (I just played with my nephew and fed him with some snacks, watched over him as he roams around the house and such), but I think I did a good job that day when I felt like my nephew became at ease having me around.
Then, when I started working part-time in a school for the blind and visually impaired where our students are adults and majority of them are seniors, at one time, since little children are not allowed in the classrooms, I took it upon myself to look after the granddaughter of one of our students. She had to stay at the Registrar’s Area where I was working. I was just talking to the little girl, trying to entertain her by giving her a pencil and a paper to draw on while I tell her stories. At first, she was not talking to me and I can sense that she was shy. But I kept talking and talking to her, making her feel comfortable while she waits for her grandma’s class to end, and she eventually responded to me and started telling me stories about her grandma and her mom, and a few more random stuffs.
Right at that moment, I felt so happy because, although I did not exactly know how to deal with children, I felt like I was slowly learning, little by little.
I know that I still have so much to learn, and it will still take a lot of getting-used-to, but I am gladly learning whenever there is an opportunity.
Assisting the Elderly and Persons With Disabilities
I was way too young when I lost all of my grandparents, so it doesn’t come naturally to me to know what their needs are and how to handle them. Pretty much like how I didn’t know how to deal with children.
So, when I came here to the US, I got more exposed to the elderly. In the church where I go, the members of the choir I sing with are seniors, so I eventually learned that as the only young member of the group, I had to assist some of them when they ascend or descend the stairwell to the choir loft and when they get on and off the vehicle when we go out for our fellowship after the mass.
At work, from the first company where I worked to the company where I am currently working, I have learned and have been learning about how to deal with not only the elderly but the people who have disabilities of all ages. The two companies where I have worked so far are both nonprofit organizations, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to help with whatever need would be brought to us.
One of the roles that I played when I was still working for Braille Institute of America was as an Assistive Technology Instructor, teaching the blind and visually impaired students in using software and accessibility features of their gadgets such as iPhones or Android phones, laptops, and other devices. Never have I imagined in my entire life that I will be doing a job that is technology-based. And I have never thought that I will work as a tutor. Like, teaching is something I never imagined myself doing. But to my surprise, they took me in and gave me the opportunity to learn to teach. 🙂
And I am thankful to God that I am also growing with every moment that I spend learning and helping. There may have been ‘those days’ when I feel like I am not doing enough or I am not doing the right thing, but Jesus never tires to remind me and teach me of so many things that I know He wants me to share as I live day by day for Him.
Responding to the Needs as It Arises and Being Spontaneous
As I have mentioned in my previous blog posts, I am that girl who likes to plan things ahead, who has a to-do list and will not be at ease until all the work listed down have been marked as “Done”. So, I have always been preoccupied until I finish everything I needed to do.
Because of this, I was hardly attentive to the present situation and was barely responding accordingly to the needs at hand. In short, I am just not as spontaneous as I wish I could be.
But as I continue to grow up and grow in my faith, being present at the moment, caring for other people’s wellbeing, being alert, assertive, and attentive to the needs around me, and being able to respond accordingly are the constant lessons that Jesus has been teaching me.
While I am still currently getting used to practicing and applying these things, I am also being taught to be patient with myself and with everyone else around me, even with God.
And as I am currently having my Discernment Process with the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate in Los Angeles, my hope is to become more and more spontaneous as the Sisters have always been while they remain organized in their day-to-day tasks.
IT MAY NOT BE OUR CUP OF TEA AT FIRST, BUT IT COULD EVENTUALLY BE OUR FAVORITE
There may be a lot of things that I haven’t mentioned, but I hope that this will be a good start for us to be more aware of the gifts that God would love for us to unwrap and use for the good of His people.
If you are currently wondering what your life’s purpose is, what you would like to do with your life, or what God would want you to do, aside from knowing who our Creator is and knowing who we are, we also have to be more aware of our natural talents and the skills that we are interested to learn about.
In whatever career path or vocation we are going to take, there are things that we will need to do even though we think we are not good at them, we are not expecting that we will be able to do them, or they are simple not our cup of tea.
But even when these things don’t come naturally, we can still do them well if we put our heart to it. And we can do these things amazingly because we are guided by the Lord. If we dedicate our whole being and our life to Jesus, He can make the good better and He can make the great greater. And He will keep on working in us until the better becomes the best and the greater becomes the greatest, even when all these things come from scratch.
Let me end this post with another lesson that Jesus has always been reminding me:
Do all things with love, for love, and in love. Do your work as if you are working for your Divine Master and not for your human master.
Photos Courtesy of Unsplash and Pixabay