This expression seems to fit the experience I have had since joining Be’ad Chaim two years ago. The moment Sandy, the national director, gave me the hat which said, “Counselor” my life began to gradually change, and I want to share with you the blessing of this charity from a different angle.
The subject of hats occurred to me when Israel was going through the war with Iraq, and scud missiles were being sent over to bomb the country. Every time the awful sirens would start to wail, we all went into our safe rooms and put on our gas masks. However, some people took it upon themselves to go from one apartment to another checking if everyone was all right, or if anyone needed help. Other people became hysterical and fell apart. What made some people take the role of “heroes” and the others “victims”? Could you just choose which hat to wear and then wear it?
That got me thinking about the roles we all play in life. Some of us are the “helpers” and others are the “helpless”, but who tells us what hat to wear?
Firemen and police officers, both men and women, and all kinds of rescue workers, risk their lives to save others every day. They are not superheroes who are immune to bombs and bullets, and many brave doctors and nurses have paid with their lives for their commitment to save others, as we have seen recently in Syria.
But back to me! When I first began to counsel women either face-to-face or on the phone, I felt a little shaky, but I could sense the women relating to me as the “helper”. That’s what it said on my “hat”. So I responded as well as I could with the help of the best counsellor of all – the Holy Spirit. As I gained experience I became more comfortable I always had such a huge sense of victory when a little life was saved. What could be more rewarding than seeing a newborn who was almost rejected?
Part of our commitment is to follow up a meeting with the mother by phone calls from time to time, to see if she is OK or needs more encouragement, advice or practical help. We keep a list and make regular calls. As I began to do this I realized that there were actually many other people whom I knew, but never phoned. Not just my personal friends, but other people I knew who would also benefit from a phone call or visit now and again. An elderly lady who couldn’t get out much, a divorced mom who probably never got invited over any more, or people who used to come to church but hadn’t been in a while.
Sometimes I used to feel sorry for myself and think, “If I didn’t come to church for six months, nobody would even ring to find out if I was alive.” But actually, whose job is it to phone people who no longer come? Why not make it part of MY job? Who should visit the old lady? Why not ME?
I realized that this new role of counselor for Prolife was actually changing me, and giving me the confidence not to wait until someone told me what my job was, but to be pro-active and see the needs around me. I could initiate contact with people, even maybe write down a list of people who I should be in touch with, and pray for, on a regular basis. Wearing a different hat changed the way I saw myself, and how I could contribute in my community.
So it has been a great blessing to me to be part of this life-giving work, and the blessing which flows from the lord through me, is also a blessing to me.
Thank you for your prayers and support.