By Meghan Baron
I’ve never built houses for the homeless. I never went on any mission trips. I don’t volunteer my time at soup kitchens, and I didn’t cash in my 401k to start a non-profit in a third world country. I didn’t do the Peace Corp, and my interest in campus ministry wavered after college. I haven’t been on or led a retreat in six years. I’ve never been to the Pro Life March and I’ve never held a protest sign. I’m not married, I don’t have any kids that sit with me in the pew with their cherub faces. I, as a single woman, can barely get myself together to get to mass on Sunday.
Sometimes, I have to wonder:
Am I even useful?
I mean in a real way – am I being a servant? Should I have done more? How come so many people my age look like they are out there really doing God’s work here on earth? How come everyone else seems to have figured out their vocation?
I spent a lot of time in prayer, contemplation and discussion with trusted friends on this topic. How can I be of use right where I am – right now – in this moment? I may not ever do any of those things I mentioned above – does that mean I am not capable of receiving the one who He sends – the ones who cross paths with me every day? And if I am not doing big acts of faith and service, am I really in a real relationship with God?
Of course I am.
Because God knows exactly where I am. I know that He has called me and brought me to this moment. And I know that this moment is my life – real life. I often think that real life begins when I start a family, or when I finish graduate school, or when I make more money and buy my own home… but real life is happening as I live and breathe. This life – right now – is my current vocation.
Every day, I find myself faced with situations where I am given the opportunity to receive or dismiss.
I work as a nurse in child and adolescent psychiatry. Every day, various taxing and emotionally draining patients and families that are thrust into my care on my unit. I want to dismiss them. I want to react when they tell me I’m a terrible nurse. I want to blame them for their child’s struggles and dismiss their ability to parent. I want them off my floor, out of my sight, and dismissed from my soul. They can’t possibly be the one He sends, right?
Instead, I choose… and choose again… and choose again… deliberately… slowly…thoughtfully… to receive.
I have been chosen.
I have been chosen to care for the sick. I have been chosen to carry control and weight over what happens to your child in the coming days. I have been chosen to teach and guide and heal. I choose to receive your pain and your fear and your anger as a desperate plea to find power in a powerless situation, and to sit with you and hold you and carry you in hopes that in some way it mirrors what Christ would do for you.
The one He sends doesn’t come wearing a sign saying “serve me and you serve Christ”. Sometimes He comes in the form of the mourning, the angry, the broken, and the tired. And sometimes, being here – right here – at this moment – is exactly where we are supposed to be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meghan is a Cleveland native, currently working as a nurse in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and completing her masters degree to become a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She belongs to St Clement parish in Lakewood and spends the little free time she has exploring hidden gems in CLE, reading & painting, and gathering around a table for good food and good conversation with her loved ones.