I’m sure I had told him that I didn’t want to go. And then, of course, I changed my mind.
Being Daddy, he stopped the truck.
That’s the image I always think of when I think of God as “Abba,” as “Daddy,” as something other than a big, imposing, impossible-to-reach and faceless entity.
I think of him with an old NAPA ballcap, a little grease under his fingernails, a pair of cut-off shorts and an old t-shirt, suntanned and smelling like work. I think of the broken in and completely comfortable truck, the interesting layers of dust and stuff on the seats and floor, the places we would go.
You know what, men? We need you. All of us do.
Recently, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a document that has really inspired me, Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization. (You can read it or download a PDF at the USCCB website.)
Maybe it’s because, for the last eight years, I’ve been pretty involved in the New Evangelization. Maybe it’s because, as a convert and a Jack Russell personality, I get excited and enthusiastic and outta control about cool new Catholic stuff. Maybe it’s because, as a mom and geek, it’s about time the higher levels of the Church started diving into this arena.
What this document reminds all of us of is this: we are all called to witness. It’s our job. More importantly, it’s our calling.
When I look around, both from my view in the pews at Mass and from the parish work I do, I see a lot of women. The men are there, too, mind you.
But I think it’s time to take a moment and recognize how much we NEED you, men!
We need men involved in various aspects of ministry—not just clergy, but lay men. The presence of faithful men inspires all of us. It acts on us internally somehow. I say that as a woman, as a catechist, and as a parish employee.
It’s easy to find women. But men, we need YOU. We need your leadership. We need your ideas. We need your PRESENCE. Sometimes, the hardest thing is to just show up.
I know you’re busy. (I’m married to a very busy man.) I know you have a ton of obligations. (Every man I know does.)
But can you spare an hour—or maybe two—to pitch in for something related to evangelization? Would you be a catechist or join a class just for a week? Would you lead a rosary before Mass? Could you spare some time for your food pantry, a social justice endeavor, or some other project?
Do not be afraid. And while you’re at it, why not take some time to read Disciples Called to Witness? After all, in a few short months, the Year of Faith begins!
This “Finding Faith in Everyday Life” column originally appeared in The Catholic Times.