Monday, June 15, 2009


Restore us, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. – Ps. 80:3

Today I met many new people, whose countenance changed as I got to know them. My original suspicions about their lives shifted and transformed as I learned their story.

She didn’t arrive early for just any job. She arrived early for her first job. Ever. She seemed like a seasoned “I’ve been in orientation sessions before” kind of gal – her countenance oozed confidence. Then I learned this was her very first job. After a year long internship here, she will eventually earn a certification in the same field as her mother. What a strong young woman she is! Do you remember your first job?

He graduated from accounting school and became a CPA for his first career, but he really wanted to be a doctor. In his mid-thirties, he went back to medical school and became an internal medicine specialist. Then I learned that running his own practice took him further away from his family, so he decided to work for this hospital in a similar, but different position. Now, he smiled, he can spend nights at home with his children and be part of their life. Have you ever completely changed your values – and then your life situation?

Her specialty is child development. Oh, she’s got a good job in the school system, but was recently told that she will probably be furloughed. She is now employed on a “PRN” basis (as-needed) and that’s why she is sitting through all this training so that perhaps, in the future, if they need her in the child development center, they might call her. No benefits. But it’s a foot in the door. Have you ever signed up for a job with so many “maybes” attached?

I thought that everyone else’s countenance changed. Actually, I think that I was the one was changed by them. Their full presence in our awkward “I’m a new employee, are you?” conversations – and their hope, encouragement and perseverance – their presence is what saved me today. Has that ever happened to you?

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