February 27, 2009

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Will you let God bless you in uncertain times? Try it.

Debra TomaselliAs I got dressed for work, the morning news delivered yet another round of massive layoffs, climbing unemployment rates and Wall Street fraud. Suddenly, I realized I was holding my breath as concerns for my own financial security arose.

My head started spinning. What will happen to my husband’s business, I wondered. Nobody is buying expensive soup tureens in this economy. My mind raced. What will happen with my job? The insurance business, somewhat insulated from simple fiscal downturns, was also feeling the effects of the eroding economic system.

Images of Wall Street flashed across the television as a reporter evaluated the proposed economic stimulus package. Another anchor warned viewers not to expect much from the new administration, while financiers agreed that our nation would feel the effects of the recession for a long time.

As I slipped into my shoes, my fears escalated. What if we couldn’t afford to repair the car? What if we had to bring our daughter back from college? What if the roof sprung a leak?

The chattering telecast faded into the background, however, as a powerful conviction arose within me.

My God is bigger than Wall Street, I thought. I’m not depending on an economic stimulus package, a president, an administration.

I paused for a moment and glanced at the sky. My God is bigger than all that.

Along with the belief, an all-encompassing peace settled over me.

As I hopped into the car and drove to work, the local Christian radio program was urging listeners to support the station. It was the final day of Share-a-thon 2009, and they were 89 percent of their way to the goal.

I always listen to this radio station. For me, it is a form of prayer. I had considered donating days ago, but hesitated. After all, I reasoned, we needed to save our limited resources.

But today was the last day of their campaign and, with my newfound confidence, I realized that those of us who still had jobs and were able to pay our bills needed to help those who couldn’t. And in these challenging times, this radio ministry is important.

I picked up my cell phone, dialed the station and made a generous contribution.

Driving home later that day, however, fear crept in. What had I done? What if we were to need that money? I should have stashed it away. Whatever possessed me to make that donation?

I arrived home, kicked off my shoes, fed the cat and checked my e-mail. There, sitting in my inbox, precise, clear and exact, was an unexpected request from an editor offering me an attractive writing assignment. Not only was the project one that I would relish, but the pay was enough to cover my donation with lots of money to spare.

(Debra Tomaselli lives in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Her column appears in several diocesan newspapers. Her e-mail address is dtomaselli@cfl.rr.com.) †

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