I can no longer remain a bystander

Hart, Rose Mary

REMAIN A BY STANDARD ROSE MARY HART It was a day great joy when [die iWal Service called me for a job'feiterview just two months after I completed high school. At the time, my main .reason...

...I find a special joy in the grade-school children walking a block or so with me on their way home from school...
...In this way I share a communion with my brothers and sisters...
...tt is there the Holy Spirit may direct me to further action on behalf of someone I met during the day...
...This helps me to look beyond the people I may disagree with when decisions are made which affect my job as a letter carrier...
...They share their joys and sorrows of the day and also take special . interest in what I'm doing...
...I feel an accountability tothe Lord for how I do my job each day: Have I done my best for all concerned: bosses, people served, myself...
...Yet, someone must be willing to speak up, regardless of the cost...
...Little did I realize how God was preparing me for a lifetime of special service in and through the people and events that constitute a career as a letter carrier...
...Relationships and friendships seem to be deeper than those of larger offices...
...This has led to much deeper relationships with the people I serve...
...Another hot day I was working the block around the town swimming pool...
...They jokingly asked if I was going to the parish communal penance, service that week...
...At times, some of those directives seem to be self-destructive even for management...
...Prayer can't stop there though...
...It is necessary throughout the day as well, in asking for help in dealing with situations or people, in praise of creation, and in thanksgiving for opportunities to share Jesus' message by being who I am, and where Lam...
...As we share experiences of our prayer while Casing our routes we nurture each other as well as witness to a third employee who is looking for a church community...
...No longer do I wait for others to greet me on the route...
...Others may complain about the problems off the clock, but don't take a stand officially for fear of future harassment...
...From that day on, life for me as a letter carrier has been changed...
...At the time, my main .reason for wanting to work for the Postal Service was that it wasoutdoor work and a job through which I could neet a lot of people...
...At this time I have two options for action...
...He is present and -active through the regular, supervisors and/or postmasters...
...post office which does very well in summarizing how I see myself in this ministry...
...My faith helps'me in dealing with issues such as productivity, employee working conditions, and customer service...
...I would acknowledge the greeting of those I passed on the street, but very rarely Wuold say, anything else...
...The more I reflect on the Gospel and current church documents, such as the economics pastoral, the more I feel that I can no longer remain a bystander to certain directives from management, whether local or national...
...My first thought is that someone has a question about mailing a letter...
...Many of my patrons live alone...
...This year we got around tomaking a trip to a major league baseball game...
...There is an inscription on the old Washington D.C...
...I have been a regular on my particular route for eight years now...
...we number only seven...
...The first was an invitation to make a Cursillo...
...This is where punctuality is so crucial...
...In essence, these children are my adopted ones, since I have none of my own...
...Prayer must continue at home after work also...
...No, it was someone on my route...
...I also quickly toalized how dependent people are on such services, especially elderly and the shut-ins...
...These men have a special way of encouraging me, at least in private, when I speak out...
...As my life with the Lord deepened, I often wondered how I could receive Jesus daily in the Eucharist...
...We had a family picnic one year and a mixed bowling team...
...Their Joking was an example of how they respect my faith and convictions...
...Many of the employees I work with share theCatholic faith...
...Because people knew me from work and trusted me, they began to accept me in areas of parish ministry which had previously been closed to women, especially women Under twenty-five...
...Prayer is necessary at the beginning of the day to put things in the proper perspective...
...At times my best and only response may be to offer to pray for them...
...All are concerned with justice and doing the best job we can...
...But often I find someone taking a hot chocolate or tea from the microwave, just for me...
...One hot August day a few years ago I saw a car stop in the middle of the street...
...When I turned around I saw a friend's two-year-old trying to pass me a 566 half-melted ice cream bar and a glass of pop through the fence...
...In the spring of 1976 two events tooktplace which set the stage for me to connect faith and work in a vital way...
...Messengers of Sympathy and Love ' Servant of Parted Friends Consoler of the Lonely Bond of the Scattered Family Enlarger of the Common Life Carrier of News and Knowledge Instrument of Trade and Industry Promoter of Mutual Acquaintance Of Peace and Goodwill among Men (People) and Nations...
...One is to prepare for a future managerial position through correspondence courses into an area with broader consequences in the future...
...The Lord also provides many opportunities for evangelization...
...These actions allow us to put aside work tensions and see a different side of die another...
...The Cursillo was a profound experience which totally convinced me mat' there was a new way to h've and relate to all I did...
...In heeding this sense of a call to action, I sometimes feel as if I am standing all alone...
...I had started praying with a Charismatic prayer group in the fall of 1975, As tide search for purpose and meaning in life continued, I began to look for other ways to grow in my relationship with Jesus...
...A good case in point is the recent irritability I suffered through (or maybe they suffered through) as the result of an overburdened work load...
...This is especially true for part-time employees who need all the hours of work they can get...
...I try to greet them as soon as I seetiiem, and keep abreast of their personal situations such as illness, a death in the family, or some special honor...
...Now I realize that I do receive Jesus through the day's people and events...
...Even though life can seem lonely at times, especially when faced with taking a moral stand, Jesus is with me and present in the others I'm dealing with...
...I thought maybe the driver had car trouble...
...The other is to continue to serve on the Employee Involvement/Quality Work Life committees of which I am presently a member...
...It is a total surrender to God's will for me...
...I believe that Jesus has given me a mission to proclaim him to all in"faith, hope, and love...
...Some of us meet on certain days to share lunch, faith, family concerns, and hope for the future...
...These are sources of pride for letter carriers...
...One of my coworkers has just started praying with a groop of friends in his home town...
...They are also an important instrument God uses to call me back in line when I stray for some reason...
...Through all of it, God was laying the groundwork for future ministry by establishing a relationship of trust and dependency among the people I served as well as the crew I worked with...
...Sometimes I can hear the family chaos through the closed doors of a house...
...Then, too, a prayer is needed on the spot...
...I now see my-overall supervisor as the Lord Jesus...
...Our office is staffed by a relatively small group...
...Being a rather shy and quiet eighteen-year trying to learn how to handle the adult world of .everyday work was difficult enough...
...I still remember very clearly how I stood up at the closing Mass and said,' "There are two ways to carry mail: You can carry it Or, you can carry it...
...Most of these are elderly...
...This Act of kindness became a weekly treat for both of us...
...They remind me so very often of God's love...
...557...
...As I continue to reflect on my career as a letter carrier its joys, sufferings, challenges, and dreams I realize the power and presence of God guiding my way...
...In just the few short seconds that I have with someone I need to try to hear what they are saying and respond in love and faith...
...She was traveling home from the grocery store and just stopped in the middle of the street to give me a popsicle...
...This style of work lasted for the first seven years of my earner...
...He knows that I still pray withthe Charismatic prayer group...
...So, too, is the greeting I have for these people...
...This is a strong source of hope and strength...
...As a letter carrier I may be the only person someone will see on a daily basis...
...Otherwise, the problems will only get worse...
...I heard someone calling me...
...This trust was the key .which opened the way for my later involvement in what is now my parish...
...I used to feel disappointed that there were no parishes locally that offered Mass at a time that didn't conflict with my schedule, except during Lent...
...Flout the very beginning I worked hard on punctuality and effeciency...
...Even on the coldest days Godhas manifested his love for me through a note in a mail box here or there which asks me to ring the door bell...

Vol. 114 • October 1987 • No. 17


 
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