I want to be an instrument of God’s love to others:
Fionn on what keeps her serving the elderly
What brings me so much joy and keeps me going at work is knowing that I am a vessel of God’s love to the seniors. Their smile is a sign that they have received Christ today.
I am currently working with Agency for Integrated Care and my clientele are mostly elderly, aged 60 years old and above. My job mainly requires me to share government policies with seniors and be the bridge between the seniors and other relevant agencies.
“Their smile is a sign that they have received Christ”
Therefore, my work is slightly unusual as I am not required to stay in the office the whole day, unless I have administrative work to clear. If not, I am often out to do house visit to seniors’ homes.
Battling with Guilt and Hypocrisy
Although I am working with seniors, my relationship with my grandparents is almost non-existent.
I often battle with the guilt and hypocrisy of how I could care for other seniors, yet I am not doing much for my own grandparents. “I am a terrible granddaughter” is the lie that often plays in my head.
My almost non-existent relationship with my grandparents stems from my youth where I never grew up with them and I only visited them on special occasions such as birthdays or Chinese New Year.
As a young girl, I often wondered why my parents didn’t teach my brothers and I to be more filial towards my grandparents by paying them visits and accompanying them more.
The Turning Point
It was through an internship I had at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), that I began to feel an inkling to want to work with elderly.
“I took this desire to prayer”
Throughout my 6 months at KTPH, I noticed many of the patients were elderly and they were either alone or with someone. I am not sure why, but seeing these elderly patients broke my heart, especially when I thought about those who have been abandoned and are left alone.
As I took this desire to prayer, I was reminded that we, as Christians, are called to love and help the poor, the needy and the lonely, just as John 15:12 said the Lord’s command is for us to love one another just as He has loved us.
Since I have experienced the Lord’s immense love for me, and the joy and peace that I received was indescribable, I wanted to be an instrument of God’s love to others so that they may have a chance at experiencing God’s love, just as I had.
After my internship with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), I decided to work on my relationship with my grandparents by visiting them more or bringing them out for a meal, though it was often awkward as there was a language barrier between us.
I also proceeded to do volunteering work and take up a 6-month internship with a senior service organisation, while allowing God to use me as his instrument. At the same time, I took this opportunity to discern if this was truly what God wants me to do.
Confirming the Call
Throughout the discernment, I felt God confirming this call for me to serve the elderly which then led me to find a full-time job that revolves around the elderly.
My favourite part of the job is interacting with the seniors, liaising with different agencies to help the needy seniors, helping them acknowledge that they are not alone in their journey, although some may lack social support.
“I know that I have to lean on God’s graces to help me love tenderly”
It is extremely rewarding to see their smile, witness their life change and experience their heartfelt gratitude for the help rendered to them.
Certainly, there are days where I would meet hostile or stubborn seniors which really gets on my nerves and it can be difficult to love these seniors. In such times, I know that I have to lean on God’s graces to help me love tenderly, be patient and understanding as well.
Although every job has its challenges, I believe if we are constantly reminded of the mission that God has given to us, we will be able to get through the trials at work by asking God for the courage and strength to face them.
My prayer for the Catholic Church’s 200th anniversary
Heavenly Father, as we celebrate 200 years of the Catholic Church in Singapore, I praise and thank you for your faithfulness to your people and the many blessings you have showered upon us. I also give you thanks for the gift of Archbishop William Goh and all the priests in Singapore, for their leadership and unfailing love for the people that they are serving but I pray that you will continue to pour out your graces on them as they continue their journey as a priest.
The church has always been a safe place for many and I pray for all those who have encountered the love of Christ, may we evangelise and spread the Good News to others so that more would come to know who God is. Also, for those who have left the church, I pray that in your time, may they open themselves up to You again and allow You to love them tenderly. May they be reminded of Your goodness and Your infinite love for them.
May we not forget those who are poor, sick and marginalised in society, that the church will continue to be a beacon of light for them. I pray that as a church, we will be able to be the face of Christ to these people and to always be ready to receive them. I also pray that members of the church will respond to the call to be an instrument of Your love to those around them and whoever that God sends their way. Amen!