Faith Stories: With God, Little is Much
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:17
When I was a young social worker, one of my responsibilities was to investigate reports of abuse and neglect in Avoidable Parish. In those days, the judge called our office and told us to make an investigation. It was also common for the judge to accept our recommendations without a hearing for the parents to challenge our recommendations.
I got a call from the judge to investigate a family in the parish that incidentally lived on the property of the judge’s mother. When I investigated, I found a poor mother living in a small “shot gun” house with her children. She seemed very caring for the children but was limited in her knowledge of some important child care matters. In particular, the children had not had their immunizations and needed increased community support.
I did not live in the parish but had worked closely with the local public health nurse. I knew that this nurse would see that the mother got the needed support. You could call her my “special angel” because she really cared for those she served.
After making the referral of the family to the health unit, I still had to report to the judge to prevent him from removing the children from the parents. Fortunately, either he lost interest or his mother no longer complained because he dismissed the case.
This service required very little on my part except to know of available resources and connect the parents up with these services. I had no other contact with the family until several years later when I was approached by a man who introduced himself as the father of the family. He wanted to thank me for the help I provided. My job was to help families. I had no idea that the small amount of help I provided to this poor family would be so important to them. I was the one who felt rewarded when the father met me that day.