It felt like a punch in the stomach

August 1, 2017 - 12:00am -- Living City

It felt like a punch in the stomach
Losing his job didn’t mean he stopped loving his neighbor

By J. W., California

I was part of a downsizing at work and lost my job. It took me completely by surprise. I went to work on Monday morning and by lunch time I was home.

The news was given to me by my boss and another person in the room, who I learned was from an agency that the company hired to counsel me and the others who were let go. After my boss left the room, I was to go over the job search process with the counselor.

I had a lot of things swirling through my head for a moment — we had five children at home, and my job provided our financial security.

I was feeling like I had been punched in my stomach. It hurt. But this was my opportunity to recognize Jesus crucified and forsaken (see Mt 27:46) in this suffering, and like him I had to keep loving. My attention turned from me to the counselor, and I thought that for this moment I needed to love this person in front of me: listen to his advice, follow his line of thought, answer his questions, and ask him questions.

That became my plan, not just then but every week for the next 10 weeks, when I would meet with him and go over my job search progress. I was able to be there in a loving frame of mind.

Just before my severance pay ended, I found a new job.


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