Faith at Work: Steve Micas
Episcopalians on Baptismal Mission seeks to raise up and empower the ministries of all the baptized in their daily lives and challenges the Episcopal Church to do the same. In this vein, this ongoing column shares the stories of laypeople living their faith in the world.
Some years ago a national magazine conducted a survey of Americans to determine which professions are considered to have the highest levels of honesty and integrity. Of the 71 jobs listed, not surprisingly, firefighter/paramedic was seen as the most honest calling. Nor will it surprise anyone that lawyers rated a dismal 56th for honesty. Local politicians drop even further down the honesty scale falling to e 66th, five positions above the lowest rated job, drug dealers! I have been a County Attorney for many years representing local politicians. At first blush you might think that this job is so low on any ethical scale as to be not worth having. In such an environment how is it possible for anyone to live a life at work reflecting Christian values?
But I prefer to see my job as an opportunity to project spirituality by engaging in a quiet kind of “missionary” work. Proclaiming Christ works best in small public and private ways as I work in the “fishbowl” of local government. More effective than proselytizing is the symbolic value of small acts of personal kindness, courage and decency that reflect a life in conformity with Christ, such as protecting a female employee from sexual harassment by a powerful supervisor, finding a home for a 15 year old Mexican boy who walked to Virginia from Guadalajara, or publicly correcting a purposeful misstatement by a politician illustrate that Christian values do have a place at work.
On Sundays, the Prayers of the People I invite God’s blessing on Boards of Supervisors and the City Council knowing how difficult it is for elected officials to live a life that proclaims Christ. The sense of community uplifts me and supports me for the sometimes ugly conflict in the political world. I am also motivated by the example of other parishioners whose work proclaims Christ. Finally, sharing the sacraments is both calming and renewing.