The Little Things
We just began our journey a week ago, but already we’ve been very active. As a group, we’ve concluded training, spoken at about 20 weekend masses, walked about 200 miles, done a lot of praying, and cooked a lot of food. It’s been a lot of fun but also a lot of work. The first week of walking is always the most difficult, and it was especially so for me. I overestimated my stamina as a beginning walker, and I have been struggling to keep pace and maintain my stamina for the 10 miles a day that we have been averaging per person. I have been praying to God for strength, and in return, He has been showing up in little ways.
For example, last weekend I was speaking at St. Vincent de Paul parish in San Francisco with my teammate Anthony. As we were waiting to talk with parishioners after mass, I noticed a statue of baby Jesus in a corner. It was one that has the different color vestments for each season, and the baby Jesus is also wearing a crown. I had only seen that specific statue one other time, and that was at my grandparents’ house. My grandparents were the most faithful Catholics that I had ever met, and both passed away in the last couple of years. To me, the statue was an encouragement from God and my grandparents, and I knew that they were proud of me.
The next sign came on Tuesday. Tuesday was our toughest day of walking this week because we had to climb a steep mountain (okay, it was really technically only a hill, but it was SO BIG). I had a break about six miles in and was wondering how I was going to make it through the next shifts, so I climbed in the van and tried to turn on Pandora on my phone, even though there was no signal on the humongous mountain. Only two songs came through. The first was “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer. It’s one of my favorite songs, and I listen to it whenever I feel stressed out or worried (check it out!). The second song was the song “Happy” by Pharrell. Out of all the songs that could have randomly popped up on a top hits Pandora station, it was those two. I knew that this was a “you can do it!” from God.
But wait, there’s more! Our group is also small and we really didn’t know how we were going to make it all the way to D.C. We really needed another person on our team, or we were probably going to have to combine the morning group and the afternoon group into one long shift in order to get all our miles in. This means that on weekdays we wouldn’t have any free time. I was praying for God to send us another teammate, and I was really worried about the issue. Then, right afterwards, I got a text from one of our weekend host moms, saying that she was thinking about us and praying for us, and that she couldn’t wait to see us during the coming weekend! I felt a lot better, and I knew that God would be looking out for us. Sure enough, the next day, we found out that our teammate’s friend will be flying down Sunday to join us!
Even though it’s only been a week, I am already growing in my faith because I know that God is guiding us. Though it’s a strenuous journey, the rewards are worth it. We have been able to meet a lot of people in grocery stores and churches and spread our message. People that we have met have been very supportive and have shared some great stories with us. We have also gotten to spend time at the pool, gotten smoothies and ice cream, and watched a movie in our free time. It has been a great week, and I really hope to impact some people and learn from others this summer. My teammates are really insightful and have already begun teaching me. We can’t wait to to get trained in sidewalk counseling tomorrow!
Central Walk ’14