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The Unknown Ways of God

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Editor’s note: Domonique Thompson, a current Lay Missioner in Formation, dives into an experience during her time serving at the Father McKenna Center. She recalls her encounter with someone at the Center, and allows for further reflection introspectively. The inward ponderings of her heart echo a greater call towards action in living intentionally and wholeheartedly. 

At the Father McKenna Center, I stand six feet away from James* as he shares his journey to Washington D.C. The hustle and bustle of the surroundings as the staff begin to pack up for the day quickly fades into the background. I tune in as James* speaks about his childhood and how he lost it all. Time seems to slow down, the room appears to empty as if it was just he and I sharing that space. What was probably only 25 minutes stretched into what felt like an eternity. I am certain that I saw God in him.

James* was a success story here at the Fr. McKenna Center. He went through the Hypothermia program and rehab and he is now working full time at the center. Looking at James*, everything seems so easy that you wonder why other people have not followed in his footsteps. But something he said stood out to me: “You have to first want it in your heart.”

So many times people become complacent about their reality that there is no desire to change. People get caught up with the idea that this is all that is possible for them, and, therefore, they fail to reach for something higher. Getting comfortable where you are…that’s easy. To step out of your comfort zone and make that change for yourself…now that’s hard. How many people in this city–let alone in this world– have just accepted that this is what life is? Many people–James* included–have left their entire family, support system, and comfort zone with nothing but the clothes on their backs just to receive the opportunities they need. In a world where materialistic things determine a person’s value, I can only imagine how difficult it is to leave so much behind. But, in exchange, James*, at least, is now beginning to foster a new relationship with his children and grandchildren. 

So I ask you: is there something that you have become complacent about? If so, do you have it in your heart to change? The ways of God are unknown and sometimes it takes a drastic step out of your comfort zone to realize his calling to you. Listen…what is God’s calling to you?


*The individual’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.

(Matthew 25:40) “And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” This speaks to me and my call to service because it encourages all of us to see one another as children of God. It reminds us that we are all deserving of basic human rights and dignity.