So I’ve been struggling a lot lately. I can’t seem to find Jesus or feel His presence… during Mass, in the Adoration room, during prayer, or even with the people I meet.
I keep asking “Where are you Lord?”, and during prayer I say “Speak Lord, your servant is listening”.
Nothing. Nada. Deafening silence.
But I don’t lose hope, I’ve been here before and I believe and trust in Him. Hope and Faith keeps me going. I am reminded of the saints who have went through long bouts of drought as well. “In His time, in His time” I tell myself, “Not mine”. So I just keep doing what I do daily, praying that everything I try to do is led by His gentle nudge or breeze on my back.
Waking up this morning, I feel that today’s just another day and nothing feels different. I kiss my wife as I get off the MRT and rush to get to the Adoration room to pray before heading off work.
Then I saw him.
An old man who looks homeless, sitting by the side. I’ve never seen him before or have I? I took a closer look and saw that he was sleeping while sitting on the stone stool – which was quite a feat mind you.
I’m ashamed to say that my first thought was that he would make a nice photo with the big Christmas tree in the background and so I snapped a few photos before rushing off.
A few minutes later it hit me. “What are you doing!?” my heart screamed. “Haven’t you been asking to encounter Jesus for the longest time? He is there and needs a breakfast – go back and get him one you sotong!”
My head gamely replied with “Nah! I’ve got to rush to work after prayer, AND I don’t want to be late, AND I’m already three-quarters there, AND my usual kopi and roti place is closed this month, AND what if he’s crazy and throws the hot kopi in my face?”
“Excuses, and bad ones at that”, my heart reprimanded. But I decided to ignore my heart to the smug satisfaction of my head “No time lah, by the time you walk back and buy the breakfast, he would be long gone already, and yah… what if he goes loco on you?”
“Haven’t you been asking to encounter Jesus for the longest time? He is there and needs a breakfast – go back and get him one you sotong!”
So, I kept walking until I was almost at the doorstep of my destination. But I just couldn’t get rid of the feeling of discomfort. I wasn’t at peace. Then I knew what I had to do – walk back and make it fast.
“So what if you have to walk extra? So what if you miss the time for prayer at the Adoration room? So what if you buy the breakfast and he isn’t there anymore? He calls you now so just be glad that you are called!” shouted my heart, pumping even more blood to my not-so-fit muscles as they struggle up the stairs of the escalator.
I placed my simple offering beside him and called out “Ah Chek!” a few times then tapped on his knee. He looked up and I pointed to the breakfast and mumbled “Chiak hor” and walked away quickly.
I sneaked a peek back while walking away, hoping that he won’t let the kopi get cold. Thankfully I saw him tucking into the breakfast and asking myself if I should’ve bought some for myself as well… I was getting hungry.
Then I prayed in my heart, “Thank you Lord for giving me the opportunity to serve you breakfast and for my simple prayer of thanksgiving. Did I not feel your presence in my heart as I took the first step when I turned around? Thank you Jesus for allowing me to feel you even for that one brief moment. I know I still have a long way to go, but with your help I know I will get there.”
So dear reader, as Christmas is just round the corner, ask yourself if you have you been Jesus to someone lately? Have you ignored or hurt loved ones and you don’t feel at peace? Maybe its time to listen to your heart for there is where Jesus resides during Advent, Christmas, and every day of the year.
Love, peace and joy,
A fellow Catholic