By John Chomistek
In light of this past week’s tragedy and all the people in Southern Texas that suddenly find themselves on new ground – in dire need – I wanted to add this post. The key to this message is, don’t be shy to accept someone else’s charity, even if it feels humbling to your heart.
First, you need it. Regardless how comfortable you have lived in the past, how much charity you have shared with others in need, it is your turn now. Realize you are in need and accept any charity that comes your way.
Secondly, the givers of the charitable items need you as much as you need them. It is their chance to perform a Corporal Work of Mercy, to have God heap graces on the both of you as charity is shared and accepted.
I also recommend, for those affected, to pick up a copy of my book, “I Have Come To Set The Earth On Fire.” In writing this book, I was able to look back at the hardships and graces gained, after losing our home and possessions, to see life from a new angle, one being suddenly homeless, poor and in need.
Insights bring peace
Insights gained from this hardship can bring a semblance of peace and meaning to the existing situation. To promote taking one step at a time. To see the light at the end of the deep and long tunnel. To see, at least, that God’s hand is working through your tragedy. That, in spite of all the chaos, God is standing right by your side guiding and heaping graces on you to get you through this ordeal.
In my story, in the chaos of my situation, I was blessed to see all the good that was happening around me. I was able to see God guiding the people, coming to our aid, guiding their generosity toward a brother’s family in need. I was able and blessed to see Jesus in each person’s heart as he exploded out as they shared charity and mercy. I was able to see the joy and peace well up from within each person as their eyes were aglow with the joy of just performing at least one Corporal Works of Mercy. I was ecstatic to see and feel, even in my lowly state, the vital role I played, in one of God’s little symphonies of life, that added to each person’s grace and their journey toward their salvation.
So much smarter
I found the most important and valuable thing experienced during my family’s ordeal, recovering from our house fire, was, I was so much smarter after experiencing this arduous journey with Christ than I was before. The saying, “if you don’t learn something from a hard time, then it really does become a tragedy” is spot on here. Observe and learn from your new situation. God will open your eyes to new and surprising revelations if you let Him, that you can then take with you and share, as I am doing now.
God bless all of you reading this that are affected by Hurricane Harvey and know that you all are in my prayers. Take solace that great and wonderful things are now happening. You have a long road ahead of you. Keep taking one step at a time, one day at a time. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord. My story hopefully will be a ray of hope because my family and I survived being suddenly homeless and poor. You will as well. May God be with you, your families and friends.
John Chomistek is a first-time self-published author living in Plano, TX. He is a member of Our Lady of Angels parish in Allen, TX, where he is active in the Knights of Columbus, as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, High School Religious Ed Catechist, RCIA, Christ Renews His Parish, Right to Life, and forming/leading a parish Men’s Fellowship group, That Man Is You. John is a founding member of Boy Scout troop 1914, and is a 24-gallon blood donor.
John earned a degree in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State University in 1996 and an MBA from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, in 1991. John and his wife just celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary and have four children and one grandson.
The Chomistek family survived a horrible house fire in 1996, and this event then becomes the backdrop and the defining moment in John’s book, I Have Come to Set the Earth on Fire. The book chronicles the walk with God he and his family shared, especially during the fire story, the journey that reshaped his worldview and his relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
John is currently an unemployed Packaging Engineer searching for the next company where he can invest his talents. He blogs at HOFpublications.org.