Catholic Family Services’ staff is so blessed by the volunteers that join us in our mission each and every day. We know the work is hard and, like most things in life, the rewards aren’t immediately apparent. So why do these dedicated volunteers come back, day after day and week after week?
We answered that question…at least in one volunteer’s case…when we received the following e-mail from Mary Waurio, one of our long-standing Caring Network volunteers. Her amazing insight is a useful tool to each and every one of us as we encounter people throughout the day.
I was thinking about my little job in the basement (helping mothers and mothers-to-be get the items they need to take care of themselves and their new babies). I pray about it so much…the success for life in each woman and for the program. This morning in my prayers, God shed a little light on why it is I have such great “job satisfaction” there in the basement. It might sound selfish, but it really isn’t about me. It is about God showing me that it really IS still possible to have true conversations. Let me explain…
Many have written and testified that, when in the presence of Mother Teresa and having a conversation with her you ‘had her full attention.’
“In the moment you were with her, there was only you and her. She was not looking over your shoulder to see what was happening around you. It was as if nothing else existed except for her and you.”
Mother Teresa said, “I believe in person-to-person contact.”
Now contrast that with the world we live in today. People are always multi-tasking. I remember how I felt with one client who was continually texting as I was trying to help her get clothes for her baby. I finally asked her to stop texting until we had met the needs of her baby unless there was an emergency. She stopped…and then it was just her and I.
That was one case…I haven’t ever had another quite like that, but what I have noticed with all my experiences as a volunteer there is that these young mothers want my attention. And, to be honest, I want theirs too. When that happens perfectly, the Holy Spirit is most present in what happens next.
Mother Teresa viewed each individual person as Christ. Because of that, she was always looking for the next opportunity to love Him (Christ) by loving the one she served. Maybe we can use this quote of hers as we go about our daily work, as a gentle reminder for all of us in the midst of the difficulties and challenges we face:
“I believe in person-to-person contact. Every person is Christ for me and, since there is only one Jesus, the person I am meeting with is the one person in the world at that moment.”
Could this be the recipe to end empty conversations which are often fueled by vain distractions? Imagine…there are so many people who are given a prescription for attention difficulties…could some of these problems be cured by us simply giving each individual the attention they deserve, as given to us by our Creator? The possibilities are endless!
If you would like to experience some of the joy Mary talks about through volunteering at Catholic Family Services, we encourage you to call us. Jeannine Boehm, volunteer coordinator, would be more than happy to find the perfect way to match your time and talents with the needs of our clients. She can be reached at 269-381-1234.
Regardless, please take the time to really talk to someone — as if they are the only person in the world — today. It will change your life.