The cycle of the seasons is a beautiful mirror for the cycle that each of us goes through in our own lives.
There are times that mirror spring, when each of us has a new seed sprouting up inside of us. There is a new aspect of our lives; one that needs to be tended to and cared for, so that it may blossom and reach its full potential.
Then there are times that can be related to summer, when everything is sunny and joyous; life is exceptionally good for awhile. We can radiate the warmth inside of us to the hearts of others so that they too may come to enjoy their full potential.
There are times when we realize we need to rid ourselves of things that may be preventing growth: things that we desperately want to hold onto, but must part with for some greater reason, like the trees that lose their leaves in the fall.
Then there are times of darkness and despair. The world seems so dark and bleak, and the climate of our minds and bodies are not ready for growth. No matter how hard a person may try to grow, it is not physically possible.
It is our job, not only at Alexian Brothers AIDS Ministry, but in all venues of life, to stand together with people, no matter what season of life they may be in. We should rejoice with those who have worked hard and finally achieved their goals. In our daily lives we provide support and encouragement to those who are struggling and trying to let go of something in their past and move forward in their lives. We provide people with the necessary materials they need to actually make a change. We work with those we come in contact with to guide them in making the changes that will sustain their lives. We provide hope to those who believe all other hope is gone. It is in this time that our work is the hardest.
We might not be able to see the fruits of all the hard work we are putting into helping our friends, co-workers, or clients, but together we have planted that all-important seed, one that will grow and develop one day when the atmosphere is right.
I would like to leave you with an excerpt from a prayer by the late El Salvadorian Bishop Oscar Romero:
This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
Krystle Powell is a participant in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps working as the Jesuit Spiritual Care Associate at Alexian Brothers AIDS Ministry in their Spiritual Care department.