When I heard this station, I first thought of the women I work with. New Moms is a small agency, and our staff is comprised of almost completely women. Our clientele served is also women - pregnant and parenting teen moms, and their children. In this station, Jesus meets the women who have been following him on his journey. When he meets them, he tells them not that “it doesn't do anything to cry, what is required is action."
This reminded me of an encounter with a new volunteer that I was training. I was going through the procedure for servicing a client who came to receive diapers and formula. I started explaining that we can’t always serve women who are too old for our housing program, or have too many children to be eligible, or if we just don’t have an available apartment. I showed her our list of outside resources that we give out with referrals to other programs.
“Meaghan, I’m getting this feeling that I sometimes do when I think about global warming and climate change…it seems like no matter what we do, our effort is so tiny. How are we to work to end homelessness and hunger with these young moms when we can only give them two cans of formula in an entire year? How do you deal with that??”
I’ll admit that I was really surprised by her question, and at first unsure how to answer. Maybe she’s right. Maybe the work that we’re doing won’t be able to save the world, or end homelessness. But then I thought of the Mother Teresa quote, which says, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if the drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of the missing drop.”
So I started thinking of the “drops” that I contribute at New Moms and in my community. Whether it’s working at the front desk and greeting each resident by name, giving stickers to the kids who walk by, enjoying lunch with my coworkers, or welcoming my roommates with a big hug and asking them about their day when they get home.
I told her, “Well, I think I try to think of it on a smaller scale. Sure, when you think of the whole world and all of the suffering in it, it’s so easy to get discouraged. But think of this community. Think of the people of Austin that we’re able to serve, or better yet think of each family that we’re able to help. Though it may not seem like much by itself, know that for a moment their life is better.”
It can become overwhelming to think of our lives in a sea of “can’t”s. But when you think of actions, rather than sadness for what can’t be accomplished, you’ll realize that actions do speak louder than words.