By Ellie Packer
As soon as we pulled into the driveway of the “Green House,” I knew I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I had quickly said a prayer to myself, asking God to calm my nerves and to use me in whatever way He needed to help the children of Catholic Worker House. As soon as we pulled into the driveway of the “Green House,” I knew I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I had quickly said a prayer to myself, asking God to calm my nerves and to use me in whatever way He needed to help the children of Catholic Worker House.
I started out the day by painting with the kids, and that’s when this one little girl, who was in first grade, grabbed my attention. She was so excited to paint us pictures of rainbows and the beach. Later in the day, when we broke for lunch, the little girl asked if I could sit next to her, and of course I said yes.
When I sat down, I could tell that something was upsetting her. I asked her if she was all right, and she told me she just needed a glass of water. When I brought her back the water, she immediately rested her head on my shoulder and asked if she could just lean on me. Whenever I look back on this moment, I can only think of the love and fulfillment that Jesus had put into my heart. I never realized how simple some of these children’s needs are: a shoulder to lean on, something we all have to the ability to give.
The best piece of advice I ever received was to never become too comfortable in where you are as a disciple of Jesus. I encourage others to take that same piece of advice and push themselves out of their comfort zones to do service at Catholic Worker House or any other place that they are called to serve. It is so important to connect with others through service, no matter how much time or donations you have to give, because the world can always use more hope and compassion.
“The future is made of [you], it is made of encounters, because life flows through our relations with others. Quite a few years of life have strengthened my conviction that each and everyone's existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.” -Pope Francis