Useful? Me? Interesting concept.
When I was very young, God always seemed near to me. It seemed to me that I just “knew” what I was supposed to do, where I was supposed to go, the actions I should take. I am not talking about spiritual maturity, I don’t claim to have had that (I don’t claim to have that still). I just mean I always felt close to God, in communion with Him. I had that sense through high school, college, into police work in the Borough of North East. I felt God’s calling to go to the City of Erie Police Department.
But somewhere along the line I lost that sense of God’s presence. I knew He was there, I never doubted that. It’s just that I somehow lost a sense of intimacy with Him; I couldn’t “hear” Him like I used to. And I missed that. Perhaps it was simply a child-like faith, and perhaps as time went on and I saw more and more of what the world can be like I became disillusioned and couldn’t hear as well as before. Whatever the case, I continued to walk in God’s ways as best I knew how, even though I haven’t been the world’s best witness.
For various reasons, I have felt myself a failure in business, at church, as a father. I have felt useless for a very long time.
Yesterday (Wednesday) was a very good day. We went into the barrio of the nearest town and set up in one of their local churches. It took a while, but we turned the chaos into something like order. I have worked with the medical team all week, keeping the people lined up and coming in to see the doctors (mostly) one family group at a time. It has been very rewarding, even though I have played a relatively small part in it. I’m no doctor, nurse, pharmacist. I’m a cop. I know how to establish and maintain order. I know how to use authority, and can do it with appropriate parts of humor and sternness (is that a word?).
Whatever, I was able to look around and watch the medical teams work. I watched the opticians and dentists work. I saw them helping people and I saw that they were able to do it in a relatively systematic way. And I was at least partly the reason for that. And I felt useful. And that I have not felt for a very long time. And I am so grateful to God for that. And I am so humbled to be here.
Gracias, mi Padre. Muchas gracias.