This thought occurred to me just moments ago. So, I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a chat about issues of faith today. Because our objectives are to reach out to as many women of the world as possible, we always need to take into account their differences where religion and culture are concerned. But, I can argue that even if you were an entirely secular woman, you have to acknowledge that the matter of faith, or having faith (or not), is an important condition of our humanity in any case.
But as this is a personal blog, most of you will appreciate that I will continue to speak purely from personal experience. Let me begin by saying that this is something that I had been prone to for many years. Initially, I was fortunate in the sense that in the past, I only experienced one or two crises in my life, quite unlike those that some of the patients (as a social worker, may I refer to the women and children I counsel as my patients? Let me know what you think) that are sent my way experience.
As I recall, during those days, I would pray like there was no tomorrow, desperately calling out for help. When those difficult days passed, everything would carry on as normal. I would be moving from one day into the next without another thought. Many moments of bliss and contentment in my life led me to have, what shall I call it; empty thoughts. And if I was thinking about anything in particular, I would simply be thinking on an instinctive and materialistic level, thinking how to satisfy myself next.
But in these last few years as I became more involved in my work and socio-economic changes led to more and more women seeking out help, I became desperate in the sense that I wanted to see and experience positive changes and results sooner rather than later. I think I began to have more regular conversations, if you will, with my Maker, always appealing out loud for his help. I never regarded myself as a woman of faith per se, even recently, but still I persisted.
One thing I am quite grateful for is the gracious readiness to say thank you whenever faith has been rewarded. It does not matter how small or large the gift is. I remember saying thank you when I finally got my degree in Social Studies. I recall always being thankful when a young mother and her child or children have been provided with shelter, not just for the night, but for the long-term. I am always grateful in general whenever I am on the receiving end of unexpected acts of kindness from others.
One thing I believe is that those men and women who are responsive to those desperately in need are not entirely acting out of their own willingness to help out. The fact that they willingly help those in need is, of course, quite important. Nevertheless, I honestly believe that a higher power is at play, influencing these wonderful and headstrong men and women to help those a lot weaker than them. I think I remain modest in my own affirmations. I feel embarrassed sometimes.
This happens when I’ve just closed a case and the recipients of a job well done cannot stop thanking you. Sometimes I feel ashamed, thinking that somewhere, perhaps I could have done more. But why should I be modest, embarrassed and ashamed all at once? I should be thanking the graces too for having been privileged to have been used as a vehicle or instrument to help realize the prayers of another who never gave up on faith and never stopped believing.
I continue to observe this among the most impoverished of society. Them being as desperate as they are, they never lose hope and continue to pray from one day to the next. This mystical and spiritual concept I don’t think will ever be fully understood on a human level. And how we embrace it or not, seems to me to come down to faith.