Speak the language of Jesus

By Vinal Van Benthem | For The Compass | March 8, 2019

Over the past several years, in addition to working full time as a real estate agent in one of the city’s more affluent suburbs, raising her children and keeping up with all the demands of life as a busy wife and mother, Amanda had gone back to school for a master’s degree in social work. And while she hadn’t given much thought to what she would do after she got her degree, she was well aware of the fact that changing jobs would likely mean a sizeable decrease in income.

Then, out of the blue, Amanda got a phone call. The agency where she had done part of her internship was interested in hiring her. Would she like to come in for an interview? When she would look back on it later, Amanda would wonder what had made her say “yes” but, whatever the reason, that’s what she did. And a few days later she found herself giving notice to her boss at the real estate office.

Amanda’s boss was surprised. She tried to talk Amanda out of leaving but agreed to respect her decision. Amanda left feeling relieved, but also just a bit disappointed. It had been almost too easy. The next morning her suspicions were confirmed. Calling Amanda into her office, her boss started to suggest alternatives. Perhaps she might consider working for an agency closer to the real estate office. They could rearrange her hours so that Amanda could do both jobs. Besides, agencies in the suburban area were more prestigious than those in the inner city and Amanda’s chances for advancement would be greater there. Her boss also hinted at a possible partnership and increased percentage bonuses.

Amanda was stunned. The offer was tempting. It would mean more money, more power, and more prestige. But then she smiled and said, “No, thank you. I really appreciate all you’re trying to do, but I’ve made my decision.” Her boss had spoken in the language of economics, the only language she understood. But Amanda spoke a different language. And she, like Jesus in the desert, had made her choice.

Van Benthem is a longtime pastoral minister in the diocese.

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