Saturday, June 28, 2008

What to Do in Times of Adversity

Like an instruction manual, the First Reading opened my eyes to how I should respond to adversity:

Cry out to the Lord;
moan, O daughter Zion!
Let your tears flow like a torrent
day and night;
Let there be no respite for you,
no repose for your eyes.

Rise up, shrill in the night,
at the beginning of every watch;
Pour out your heart like water
in the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your little ones
Who faint from hunger
at the corner of every street.

 (Lamentations 2: 18-19)

To rejoice and to praise God in all circumstances, to be grateful and cheerful in times of distress - these are my lessons for this chapter.  

Friday, June 27, 2008


We all have our share of problems. How often have we heard this statement, and how true is it?

Last night I imagined how this works. I imagined, to maintain my sanity and sense of humor, that in heaven there is someone assigned to apportion people's "shares" of problems. I imagined this little angel's daunting task is to cue people's assigned problems, and to press the release lever once a problem is solved on earth, and the next one meant for a particular person becomes due.

I imagined writing a petition last night, to be seen up in heaven, saying,

"Halt! Wait! I think you read the wrong charts. You accidentally sent me more than my fair share of problems. These huge ones, the latest you approved for release this week, are not supposed to be mine. Most likely, they belong to that guy over there whose only problem is how to keep his sports car shiny everyday, or that lady I saw on the newspaper whose main preoccupation is to look pretty and acquire the latest 'must-have' bag. Not me.

"Oh, no, Little Angel, you're mistaken. There's a breakdown in your system. There's a glitch in your program. These problems can't be mine. How am I supposed to handle them, when my hands are still full from the ripe challenges you threw down my way last week?

"I'm respectfully returning your latest release. I wish the person you bring this down upon the best of luck. He or she will need it."

Yesterday, someone told me that a bright young lawyer committed suicide, shocking everyone she had left behind. She seemed to have it all, I wondered what drove her to despair and made her lose all hope.

Last night, rendered immobile by problems that were too big for my puny mind to deal with, and which were too scary for my palpitating heart to to face, I watched TV. I saw a movie about a person suffering from manic-depressive behavior and dementia. This supposed relaxing activity did not relieve my chest pains.

I turned to prayer, tired, beaten, and bruised. I asked for prayers. I lifted my hands in surrender. No, these problems were not mine to handle.

I need a Savior now so desperately, as I turn to face reality.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Force Majeure

"Act of God or force majeure, by definition,
are extraordinary events not foreseeable or avoidable,
events that could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, are inevitable.
It is therefore not enough that the event should not have been foreseen or anticipated,
as is commonly believed,
but it must be one impossible to foresee or to avoid."
--(National Power Corp. vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 96410. July 3, 1992.)

Living in a country hit by an average of twenty (20) typhoons every year, I am used to howling winds, pounding rains, and rising waters. As a student, it meant classes were suspended, and I was free to sleep and eat the storm away. Power usually went out, and it was always a time to find forms of entertainment that did not require electricity. On those days that were as dark as night, I played the piano by candlelight, and was inspired to learn Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", used in the movie "The Loves of Dracula", to complete the eerie effect during the stormy days of my childhood.

Twenty years later, I have changed. The world has changed. Consequently, I'm usually restless during a storm. Last weekend, I had a scheduled flight to Davao about an hour after Frank (international codename: Fengshen) was supposed to hit Metro Manila, something that was not predicted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) and similar agencies across the globe. Power did not go down so I was able to monitor the updates on TV, radio, and Internet.

A ferry sank and 700 people went missing. Iloilo City in Central Philippines went under water. I saw what storms really meant - lost lives and properties. I watched them in the shelter of our home. I could neither sleep nor rest, however, because of worry and anxiety, as if I had not recovered from all those 20 storms per year of my existence, and as if being pounded by sheets of rain was putting me under water and making me feel helpless.

For what can we do against a typhoon? We can't fight it back with magic powers. We can't push it back behind a force field. All we can do is find a shelter, and stay there, until the roaring winds and the raging waters subside.

My officemate and I decided to postpone our trip to next month, and not just rebook it for another day this week, as weather conditions were not conducive to travel. She told me that this was force majeure and our bosses would understand. They did understand, and told us that it was better to be safe than sorry. We revised our work plan and schedule accordingly.

Sometime yesterday afternoon, as I was talking to my mother about our flooded driveway and leaking kitchen, I heard a silence. It was like in the movies - when the rain and the wind stopped- and I knew, like an old farmer who could predict the weather, that the worst was over. I later learned that Frank had indeed left Metro Manila and was moving towards the northern part of Luzon, where the people had just been hit by a typhoon recently.

I got up and attended the evening mass, which was packed as everyone seemed to have stayed indoors earlier that Sunday and was only crawling out of their shelters. The skies were not as angry anymore; I could walk with just a jacket, avoiding puddles of water and shaking off raindrops as I went along. There was that air of stillness, as if people were afraid to move after the vigorous pounding they had received. Only a few establishments were open, and people went home early. The typhoon had left, but people still had to recover from it. I tried to go back to normal, but I could not work. I could not finish a sentence of the 170 cases I had to analyze.

This morning, I woke up to the chirping of the birds. Around me, signs that "Frank Was Here" could be seen - there were fallen trees and scattered leaves everywhere. Due to the sleeplessness from the past two nights, and the stressfulness of the previous work week, I could not get up from bed, with an ache I could not quite name. I knew I had to go to work, as life ought to go on. But I called in sick.

The typhoon has left, for now. Another one would surely come. Is PAG-ASA or the Coast Guard prepared? Is the Philippine Red Cross equipped? Do the Local Government units, and the National Disaster Coordinating Council, get enough support? I wonder when we could learn from the past and be stronger against the forces of nature.

There are many factors why warnings are not heeded by ferry operators, houses are not made of strong materials in areas prone to typhoons, floods are not prevented, and the basics of food, shelter, and clothing are not provided to our people. We could only gather our old clothes and blankets to warm them up afterwards, but how to avoid these? I hope our corrupt politicians grow a conscience soon. Gasoline prices are up, and basic commodities are following suit. The ordinary Filipinos like me are getting more beaten and bruised every typhoon, which, as we all know, happens 20 times to us every year.

In my life, when the next storm comes, and I'm unprepared, is it still considered force majeure? I don't need the Supreme Court to give me an answer this time. If it's an act of God that I'm afraid of, then perhaps there's no one better to ask, than God Himself. I know He is showing me the answers little by little, but like a creature still shaken by the most recent storm, everything is incomprehensible to me. I seek sanctuary where I could hear Him more clearly.

I hope that the changes I find in me are for the better, not for the worse. I tried to play "Moonlight Sonata" today, but I had forgotten most of it. The Gospel reading for today led me to pray for a fresh perspective on my life after the storm, that the "log in my eye" may be removed so I could see that the storm is over, just like that, and that it made way for a rainbow in the sky to remind me that God promised, not to exempt me from the storm, but to be with me every moment of it.

I wrote all of these down so I would not forget. The next step is to move on, pick up the pieces, and see the beautiful picture that God has painted because of the storm.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

There's Really Not Enough of Me to Go Around

The past week was about seeing that there was not enough of me to go around.  Not enough of me for my work; not enough of me for my service; not enough for me for my health; not enough of me for my family; not enough of me for my future.

I was crashing down by Friday but tried to keep it together.  It didn't work.  I snapped at everyone who was important to me and hated myself for it.  I went to bed dog-tired and crying out for rest.

Then I had a dream - there was an important occasion, I was in a beautiful house, and all the people who had ever mattered to me - hundreds of them - were there.  We were all celebrating and I was happy.

Then I woke up.  I learned that Storm Signal No. 1 was up in Metro Manila.  More like Signal No. 4,  I said to myself, as I thought about everything I had to do today, this week, this month, and this year.  

And then I turned to prayer.  I could not understand the First Reading, as my heart was full of anxiety and worry.  The Psalm did not ease my tiredness.

I stopped reading Scripture, and spoke to the Lord.  I said I was sorry for all those times I insisted on my own way and depended on my own strength, even if I knew in my heart that He was leading me towards a different path and that He did not need me to be anyone's savior.

I opened my eyes to read the Gospel, and I was struck by what Jesus said, and knew He was speaking to me directly.  

Mt 6:24-34

Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

I remembered that I had already wrapped my life around this truth.  There was a time when I was not worried anymore about what I was to eat, to wear, or to drink.  There was a time when I believed fully that  God was taking care of my tomorrow.  There was a time when I was serving God, and God alone.

How do I go back to that truth now?  I am open to His leading.  I am lowering my defenses again to His call.  

Lord, may Your Word be fulfilled in me.  Help me to put my trust in You again, not just for my life but for my loved ones as well.  I have tried this before and the results were not as I expected.  Help me to rely on You more.  Amen.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You're a Godsend

You always lift me up when I'm down. You remind me of what's important, beautiful, and sacred. You bring me to the right path. You make me smile through the storm. You're a Godsend.

Whenever I hear this song, my spirits soar because I've found you.

DC Talk

Hoping, praying, I've been waiting
Everybody needs somebody to love
There's no question, straight from heaven
You're my angel, I'm so crazy for you

You're a Godsend
A blessing from above
You've been God-sent to me
You're the Godsend
I've been dreaming of
You're a Godsend

Holding your hand, touching your face
I will love you now and always I swear
I will never forget that first moment we met
When two worlds collided and I found my best friend

(repeat chorus)

I was made for you, you were made for me
In this lonely world, we were meant to be in love

I will never forget that first moment we met
When two worlds, they crashed in
And I found my best friend

(repeat chorus)

God's Yellow Pages


Got this link from my high school classmate Arminda's Multiply site.  Let your fingers do the walking through the Bible. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Delayed Reactions

I chatted with a sister from community this afternoon, someone who is living a life of service, and she shared with me how freeing it was to admit that she was no longer happy with what she was doing. She had tried to convince herself for far too long that she was happy, but the moment she became honest, a huge burden was lifted off her chest.

Some people complain all the time and refuse to be in situations that pose any amount of difficulty. This sister has given her time, talents, and skills, to worthwhile endeavors, and after decades, is finally thinking of her own life and her own future.

Reflecting on the sister's life, I wondered what it was that made it difficult for me to admit whenever I was tired, hurt, or disappointed. By the time I had come to terms with those feelings, the people who had caused them were already gone, and the situations that gave rise to them were already snowed under by seemingly "more important" supervening events.

In the context of service, I tended to think that my opinion did not count, and my leaders knew better all the time.

For a process person, it showed my selectivity in confronting conflict. I justified people's behavior. I gave blindly and excessively when I could, until I hit a sign that said "Danger: Burnout".

What could have happened had I learned to say "Ouch" when I was being stretched and pushed and ignored? What could have been mine had I mustered enough confidence to claim who I was - my true talents, gifts, skills, desires, dreams, hopes, and wants?

A friend of mine said I had trouble with honesty. I said I had just learned to bury some thoughts and to stay with the more acceptable ones.

Now, a few years later, I have realized just how much a certain situation had squeezed me dry, and what actually led to that. I'm relieved to see that I did not waste months of discernment. What I heard before - the call - was crystal clear. How I acted upon the call was a different story.

Perhaps it is too late to change the past. I am here, in the present, embracing a new life, and yet my eyes, my hands, my thoughts, and my heart still belonged elsewhere.

From now on, I will speak out more. I will trust what my heart is telling me. I will believe how much God loves me. I will love others better if I love God and myself properly. Tall order, really.

Another important lesson learned in the classroom of adversity.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Father's Prayer

He doesn't know about it, and perhaps he won't be able to read this post, but I found this poem/prayer in my father's neat handwriting on a sheet of paper inserted - as a bookmark, perhaps - inside one of his books.  I took it out and probably deprived him of a proper bookmark as well as a prayer he wrote down so he could memorize.  While cleaning out old stuff I found the sheet of paper and thought of my father, who is on vacation right now with my sister in the US.

Happy Father's Day, Papa.

This is my prayer to thee, my lord - 
strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart.
Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.

Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.

Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.

Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.

And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

-- Rabindranath Tagore, GITANJALI, XXX VI 4

Someone in our extended family, a father himself to wonderful children and handsome grandchildren, and a husband to my thoughtful Tita V, is in the E.R. right now after suffering from another stroke.  I am offering prayers for him and for his family.  Mommy P, God bless the Q's.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

An Encounter with the Lord

I considered keeping this sharing to myself, but given how I've been avoiding my personal journal for the past year, I knew I had to write about what I had learned today just so I wouldn't forget.  It is another breakthrough amidst uncertainty.

I went to Camp ExploreMount Purro Nature Camp in Calawis, Antipolo City for the Lingkod QC Anniversary/ Branch Outing.  I was a day late so I had no expectations, just went there so I could be with the brothers and sisters even for a short period of time and also to get out of the metropolis.  The place was simply beautiful.  It was a treasure amidst the mountains.  The facilities were outstanding and the place had a natural, authentic, yet rugged feel to it.  There were comfortably-furnished huts and cabanas, and an infinity pool.  The food was unexpectedly good - fresh, bountiful, and yummy.  The surroundings put us all in a good mood.

When I got over the beauty of the place and quieted down to hear the talk given by our National Director Mon Samson, I was cornered and captured right where God wanted me.  

Mon shared this passage from Matthew 13:44, and this is the version from my Bible, the RSV:

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."

Such a short, yet powerful, passage.  Something echoed in my heart.  A click of recognition.  An influx of memories.  A tug of yearning.  I sat there, transfixed, unbelieving, and amazed.  Every word Mon said after that got through me, as though my heart had been opened while I was caught unawares, and I was once more hearing the words I had shut out because of confusion and fear.  

I knew I had found "the treasure hidden in a field".
I had found it, but I covered it up, because I had to go out and sell all that I had first.
Someday, I knew, and at the right time, I will to go back to my treasure.  It will call me home.
I would have to bring all the savings, or learnings, from my giving up or letting go of all that I had, so I could buy that field.  For there is a personal cost to that field, but a very small price to pay for such a treasure.
But what, I wondered, is my treasure?  I felt the need to identify it, to speak it out, to recognize it, and lastly, to face it.
To face Him.  Him with a capital H. 

I could not answer immediately.  I was not prepared to be disturbed that much.  After the talk, I chatted briefly with the brothers and sisters, trying to ignore the stirrings in my heart.  

Go away,  I told the questions.  I don't want to face you, I said.

But my heart pounded and while learning new songs from the Music Ministry, my tears started to fall.  

Oh no, not again,  I shook my head, clenched my fists, and paced the hall.  I was not going to be moved by words about giving my all and offering my life again.  Been there, done that!

But could I deny what my heart was singing?  Could I say No to The One who was calling?

Without saying where I was going, for the tears prevented me from speaking coherently, I went to the nearest cabana, removed my shoes, sat down, and said, 

Here I am, Lord.  Ok, you win.  I'm listening.

He asked me what my treasure was.  And I answered Him with tears.

You, my Lord.  Only you.  You know that.  Why are you asking me this?  

He asked me to go back to the time when I was so sure that He was my treasure.  That loving and serving Him with all that I had was the joy of my heart.  

A gentle breeze whispered to me that He loved me.  A bird, perched delicately on a tiny branch, sang a song to me, of love and of understanding.  Before I could talk to the bird, it flew away, leaving me behind.  I wanted to ask the bird to take me, for I did not know how to respond to how I was feeling.  Again.

I cannot share here all that Jesus and I talked about this morning, for they are raw, unprocessed, and precious to me.  But all I can say is that He reminded me that perfect love casts out all fear.

I stayed there for about an hour while the rest of Lingkod was having fellowship.  It was a refreshing, recharging time, and I felt my tears cleansing me.  

It was okay, finally, to say how burdened I was, how unsure, how afraid, how alone.  It was okay, finally, to say I did not know what I was doing and how long I was going to last.  It was okay, finally, to listen to my desires, for not so long ago, I went through a six-month period of discernment, and it was then that I knew what I really wanted to do with my life.  Without a tinge of a doubt.  With great confidence and joy.  With courage and hope and love and faith.  That seemed like a long time ago, and a different me.

It was okay, finally, to say that I was not doing what I really wanted to do with my life, and that it was okay to be in this state.  Because I realized that "buying the field" will take time.  Selling, giving away, letting go, and moving on -- all these take time.  

I was overwhelmed to see that I was still in the process of getting to my treasure, despite the cloud of unknowing.  That I was not lost, but was on the right path.  It was just a very difficult path, but what was specifically laid down before me after I took up my cross and professed to follow Jesus all the way.

I am still uncertain about a lot of things, but brothers and sisters, I think I'm back. 

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Heart Check

Mk 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said,
“Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext,
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.”

This scene is still played out in our day, and when Jesus spoke these words He must have known that we would need to be constantly reminded of what counts as treasure in heaven.

Having served in different communities since I was a teenager, I've experienced being in both situations being compared in the Gospel today. I've had a desire to be like the scribes, to sit in places of honor when I should have been out the back serving the people. There have been days, however, when like the poor widow, I had literally put my last peso into the collection basket at Mass and prayed to God to provide for me, as I knew He would.

Reflecting on this Gospel today, I first thought of the many people who still sought positions of power and places of honor even within Christian communities, and I prayed for them. Immediately, however, I remembered the times when I myself wanted to be recognized, affirmed, and thanked, and I felt shame. It is a challenge to remain focused on Christ - loving Him, responding to Him, serving Him, obeying Him - and not on myself, for as a human being I am distracted by my own insecurities, fears, and wants.

Have I grown in this area? I would like to think that each day is a new beginning, and it is an upward call. Having no clear-cut position of service now helps me to check my heart and learn from my mistakes. But as I am being called to serve daily in the different roles I find myself in, I take this opportunity to go back to what's important as Jesus clearly explained to His disciples.

Before I concern myself with how others profess their love for God, I should first check the log in my eye and the contents of my heart.

I would like to be someone who will please the Lord in her poverty, whatever the particular meaning of poverty is in my life. I also pray that I would be given the opportunity to serve, and live, and simply be with people of the same mind. Or should I say, of the same heart.

For it is not easy to go against the challenges of the world, but with the right support and guidance, I am able to find my way to listen to Jesus in my heart and to obey His call.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Unlikely Loves of Ella

I've used a misleading title yet again to get readers to open my post.

My father instilled in us his children that we are not rich. It's one of his favorite lines, "Anak, hindi tayo mayaman."

True enough, while my friends were chauffered to and from school, my siblings and I had to take public transportation. While our classmates could eat anything from the canteen, we had baon prepared by our mother. But we all finished school from the country's premier state university. And now we are all professionals. My parents have often said that education is the best thing they could give us, and for that we are forever grateful.

And so I grew up believing this, that we were not rich, but we were blessed with a good education.

Not until I started spending time with the youth from all around Commonwealth Avenue did I hear myself actually be described as "rich". I got to know teenagers, entered their houses, met their families, and heard their stories, and I suddenly felt that my complaints about having "only one Barbie doll and one Lego toy" while growing up was so trivial, and that I should rejoice that all five of us were able to go to school at the same time, as apparently it was a luxury not all could afford.

My awakening is slow but it's transforming me from within. While the eternal child in me could easily share experiences the youth could learn from or at least relate to, the reality of their challenges sometimes hits me to the very core of my being.

Some of my kids have been abused, and I learned how to be an "Ate" or older sister rather than a lawyer, even when I wanted to hunt down the perpetrators and drag them behind bars so they would be banned from hurting another child again (yes I know, it's not even a lawyer's job to do that, but such was my feeling upon learning that my worst fears about my kids happened). I learned the hard way that these were not my kids and those decisions were not mine to make. All I could do was to listen, and to pray, and to encourage them as they struggled and grappled with things I had only read about in my case books.

Most of my kids have to skip school because of poverty on varying levels of gravity. Some of them work at fastfood joints just to earn enough money for their school projects and theses. Others rely on scholarships in order to finish high school. Quite a number have had days when they had to stay home as their parents could not give them money for their jeepney fare and lunch. I know a boy who walks home from school everyday and who stops over at his parish (not ours) so the priest could feed him lunch.

These are not just stories, for the kids themselves told me, and their parents have shared them to me. At times I wish I could give them everything but the clothes on my back, but I checked myself, as it would not solve the problem, and I could not help all of them. I have realized that more than money (which is non-existent), what I could give them is my love and my time.

They said they've never had a lawyer as a friend before. Up to now, the kids don't think I'm a lawyer, for, perpetually in jeans, T-shirts, and slippers, to them I dressed nothing like the lawyers on TV. I had to email pictures of me wearing a suit in different office events for some of them to believe that I was an A-T-T-Y. The reason for their disbelief, they said, was that they felt they had nothing to offer me, and somebody like me would not really bother to befriend them.

At least I could say that in our little youth ministry, a lawyer is in the same league as the priests (if only this were the case in the rest of the world!). Whenever I attend their birthday parties, I would be seated with the priests (probably because I could entertain them with my Taglish), asked to eat first, invited to be part of the 18 Candles and dispense words of wisdom, and welcomed by their parents. It always made me feel uncomfortable to be treated like that, but eventually I had to learn to accept their hospitality and to honor them with my gratitude.

In my heart I would think, I shouldn't be alone here. There should be more of "my kind" - of my educational and economic background - sitting there in their living rooms and eating with them. I never felt out of place; instead I felt the burden of inviting more people who had the heart for it to be one with them.

Of course I have been chided and corrected by some people - of my educational and economic background - for "wasting my time" with the youth of the Batasan-Commonwealth- Holy Spirit area. These old friends imagined me lawyering like the best of them before high courts and engaging in services that were more common within our little world - as a famous speaker, leader, sharer, singer, dancer, or writer. But the more I served outside of my comfort zone, the more I realized I was doing the will of God for me, without me searching for it.

The stories within this circle are endless as the kids' bickerings are oftentimes of telenovelaic proportions, but every time a song, a joke, a tradition, or a learning that I share with them makes an impact and is handed down from the young singles to the pre-teens groups, I have a feeling of being where God wants me to be, at this time in my life. So many things that I and my friends have taken for granted mean the whole world to these kids, and for as long as I am called to do so, I will continue to nurture this relationship with them.

There are possibilities within these discoveries but I will leave them up to God, in His own time. For now, I will continue to embrace this new world and take things as they come. I know I am not required to heal all ills and to be their Savior, but as I take part in their healing, the Lord is also able to enter my heart and work in me.