February

Lamp of Nazareth

          Deep in the old trenches of work once more, God came today to steer my heart to His Light.

          For a long time, February had been the month of Lourdes for me, in remembrance of Our Lady of Lourdes and her apparitions there. So, through the days of February, I try to live my hours as close to Her as my fickle self possibly can. Yet, given that I am once again back in the thick, thorny thickets of work, I did wonder more than once if this work year would be any different. My two superiors were back at it again – casually loading up our schedules, blatantly defying lockdown regulations, secure in the confidence that enforcement officers would baulk at coming so far out here to the boondocks to check on us.

          Mere weeks into the new year, I am already as tired as before.

          But the start of 2021 has not been bone-dried out of its miracles for me. For the first time in such a long while, I have woken up each day and gone out to work with a little skip in my step. Despite the amount of work set before us each day, I have gone to it with much enthusiasm. This was only possible due to the Christmas miracle of joy and rest and sufficient quiet.

          Yet, my spirit yearns for more. Not so much for a reduced workload as much as for freedom from tyranny – for it is back in full force now.

          The Lord has come to me many times to say:

Tell My people how much I love them. Tell My people that they are not alone and that I am with them. Tell My people that My Holy Spirit provides power, grace and love each day of their lives. Tell them miracles are there for them every single day, but they must look for them. They must expect them; they must want to experience My love.   ~ Look for Miracles Every Day, Steve Greco, Catholic Stand 

          Since reading those words, I have been spurred to tug at God’s robes to ask for more miracles. Each time I asked for miracles, I also asked His forgiveness for the thanklessness in my heart, if anything was blinding me to the many flowers already in bloom in my life this year.

          And of course, even as I pray, I have a very clear idea of what shape and form my miracles should take. I am, as ever, ready to give God the helping hand He doesn’t need.

          Two days ago, Jesus sent His spirit to open my eyes. One of my superiors stopped by my table with an unsettling gleam in her eye and casually put forth a proposition for me to extend my already long working hours and conduct yet another programme. I don’t know whether it was because I was already up to my eyes in work at that moment or if it was due to something else – but a calm yet firm refusal immediately sprang to my lips even before I could think up counter arguments. What I could see of her face above her mask tightened, obviously angered that I had dared to defy and refuse and she quickly moved on to seek support elsewhere.

          Coming home after work, I slumped to the floor, very, very tired. Dinner needed to be cooked, the younger kids needed help with studies and the house needed some cleaning. The birds were noisily chirping their evening farewells as they lifted into skies painted in swells of pink and tangerine. Even as I heard them, their songs I could not seek. There was no time to rest; yet, it was also too difficult to get up and to get going.

          Suddenly, an unseen hand pushed to memory a dream I had of this same woman last year. Of her entering my bedroom and stealing my rest. It was then that I realised that this superior needed to be fought off.

          And that Someone had done it for me that day.

Miracle

          But that superior is never one to take a rebuff well, and too soon, I was slightly beset with anxiousness about what traps she’d lay out for me next.

          Nonetheless, God was already ahead. The next day brought a bout of energy and a slice of wily wisdom. Covid came a little too close and some colleagues had to give up their work time. With some maneuvering, I could take on a bit more, freeing me from the need for extended hours. That put me out of the crosshairs of that woman.

Another little miracle.

          Then came the next miracle. Due to a colleague coming down with Covid, we came under the very scrutiny my boss was hoping to evade. He was then forced to allow us to work on a schedule that blended on-site work with working from home. That gave me 2 beautiful days of working from the peace and quiet of my little nest.

          Today was my first day of working from home and it filled me with tufts of early spring sweetness. Despite being up till past 1 a.m. working on reports and plans, I rose early in glee of being home. It was into this rising dawn within me that God told me something that I had not known before.

That the month of February was also dedicated to the Holy Family.

          And with that, God gently lit the Lamp whose light I was to follow. In my fears over work-related reprisals and doubts over the validity of my resistance, when guilt shadows me, whispering I must do more, more, more, my heart must flee to Nazareth. Into the hearts of Three who lived hard days within the untroubled sweetness of the Divine Will.

          Today, as every little feathered friend sought the dawn sun hidden within fleecy skies, He taught me once more that even as others seek to set their yoke upon me, my heart must be resolutely illumined by the Lamp of Nazareth.

          In the quiet of its humility, courage and obedience, lived unwaveringly by a Mother, a Father and a Son.