|"Simon the Cyrenian Compelled to Carry the Cross with Jesus" by James Jacques Tissot (French painter and illustrator, 1836-1902), from Joyful Heart Renewal Ministries|
It was this year's Visita Iglesia that I was reminded of the Simons of Cyrene who have helped and helping me in these difficult times.
It will be a month tomorrow since my last day from my previous company. The day I was informed of the redundancy (due to budget cuts as the project ended and no project available for me to work on, to sum up the matters), I sent messages to former teammates and colleagues from that same company; to close friends and dear mentors; to those new people, yet have already became influential as I chart my career path.
They all gave words of comfort. Even my former client based overseas and whom I only had virtual communication for almost two years I was co-managing the project, was unnecessarily sounding apologetic that this had happened, repeatedly assured me that my contribution to the project was truly invaluable, and offered herself as a reference as I pursue other roles within the company (I had that option; but the reality is hiring rates internally were not exactly promising), or pursue a career elsewhere.
Some of these people referred me to those whom should I get in touch with for possible job vacancies.
Some offered help in ways I never imagined --- you all know who you are, thank you! A former teammate also sent a message to a hiring manager of a job she was applying for and endorsed me to be considered also for a role and such move got me an interview with the recruiter.
Others previously raised opportunities for me; and this time while waiting for that "full-time" opportunity, their offers are possible now.
Such generosity of those people who helped me, and still are helping me, are beyond words.
Most especially, I am truly grateful to those people whom I never expected to come to my aid --- like a former colleague whom after almost a decade of no contact, suddenly popped up and offered me an opportunity.
Another person offered help to me way back --- and such help was really timely and unexpected because I never thought he would do such to someone he hardly knew.
As some of them said, I am deserving of such help. They also understand that I can not --- and should not settle for the first opportunity that come my way because they know that I am at this point where I am equipped to lead and manage and more --- thus the pursuit for such kind of opportunities.
And as we were completing the Stations of the Cross on our Maundy Thursday Visita Iglesia, and had a moment to reflect at each station, there on the seventh station was Simon of Cyrene who helped Jesus Christ carry the cross, I prayed for these people who are believing, trusting me by helping me carry my cross.
I feel at times though that I am shortchanging these Simons of Cyrene for there were days --- or times in any given day --- that I felt truly down; truly hopeless; restless and impatient for that elusive opportunity to come my way, despite what I believe my conscientious attempts.
But I am reminded of these Simons of Cyrene who are believing, trusting in me.
They too have their own crosses to bear, but yet, they are choosing to bet on me.
I am especially worried now for the days ahead --- the kind that gives back pains, migraine, upset stomach --- the works.
But I also am reminding myself that I need to productively wait.
I need to patiently wait that there is one opportunity (out of the many that I have already applied for) that is meant for me.
And that I must be the Simon of Cyrene myself.
I read the other day Pope Francis' advice to pray, and pray regardless where we are. I am doing more and more of that.
Only through prayer I am comforted these days (plus reading and writing) then the Simons of Cyrene showed up.
I have lots of questions now. If I am already incapable of generating answers, I pray that I will be helped to help myself.
That I never give up on me because I was sent these Simons of Cyrene to help carry my cross.
And I know many Simons of Cyrene are on their way to help lighten the burden.
Thank you, Simons of Cyrene.
I pray for you and yours and I hope that, even if not to you, I will be able to repay you, to become Simon of Cyrene myself and help others like how you are all boosting me now.