What is the point of my faith?
Recently I read that a local faith hero, Sister Christine Leyser is leaving Guelph to serve in other capacities with the Loretto Sisters in Toronto. Sister Christine, an Order of Canada recipient, started the Welcome Inn Drop In Centre on Gordon Street over 30 years ago. Since then she along with a volunteer team has faithfully served many of our city’s isolated and economically marginalized people. Our city’s loss is Toronto’s gain.
A number of years ago when I was responsible for GCC’s youth ministry, I was able to arrange for Sister Christine to come and speak with our high school students. As I recall, a number of them indicated that her story had impacted them. For me, her story was heroic and it drew me forward in my discovery of faith.
Every year I read books about faith and I listen to podcasts by renowned pastors, teachers and evangelists. However, in my experience, it took listening to Sister Christine for me to realize that everything I believe is in play with how I treat any and every person I encounter.
For the most part, I interact on a daily basis with different people than those Sister Christine served. James 2: 15-16 says “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” I think when I read that I tend to interpret it as only applying to how I treat the poor and in my opinion, Sister Christine has heroically given her all for so many who are poor. However, Sister Christine helped me apply those verses to my life regardless of who I encounter and as I’ve followed her challenge my faith has grown. Here’s my re-write of theses verses as I now understand them. “If anyone is without what keeps them safe and strengthened and I say to them. “You’re Ok, don’t worry (and maybe I add that I’ll pray for them)” and I don’t help them in some way that I can, what is the point of my faith?”
I am not living day to day in the same way as Sister Christine but she taught me how every day my faith can be to other people’s advantage and well being. And in that, my faith journey continues.