Caring for those at Work
Caring for those at Work
“You can’t walk into an office thinking that I am going to evangelize this office,” Gwendolyn Johnson [Diploma, 1944] shares that “life counts, even more than what you say.”
Gwendolyn worked for Manulife Financial for almost forty years as an officer’s secretary. The relationships she built with the people she worked with were what she truly enjoyed. It was through these friendships that Gwendolyn saw how her job was also part of her spiritual calling. She knew that her job was her mission field. “Full-time service is for everyone, not just those on the mission field or working in a church,” said Gwendolyn when discussing her career.
“Every morning when I do my devotions, I ask God to give me the opportunities to share with people.” The opportunities to share would come in interesting ways. One day, her boss told her that she wasn’t what he thought a Christian would be like. She dressed well and she wasn’t “drab”. She just quipped back that “since I have to wear clothes, I might as well wear clothes I like.”
Prayer was a key part of Gwendolyn’s relationships. One example of this was her friend Margaret who had emigrated from Ireland with her husband. Margaret had never been interested in hearing about anything related to Christianity, however Gwendolyn felt that God had told her that, “Margaret would one day become a wonderful soul winner.”
One day Gwendolyn invited Margaret to join her at the graduation ceremony of her alma mater. Margaret questioned whether “there was going to be a preacher.” Once assured there would only be the choir and that a male and female graduate would each share about their time at the school, Margaret accepted.
After the event at Varsity Stadium, where they joined approximately six thousand others, Margaret only said that “her mother would have liked it.” Five years later Margaret and her husband decided that Canada was not for them and moved back to Ireland. Then one day Gwendolyn received a thick envelope from her friend across the ocean. “My dear sister in Christ,” began the letter that shared how the couple had accepted Christ as their Saviour.
“You never know what God is going to do. There is a danger to give up too easily on people,” said Gwendolyn. After all, it was ten years after the two women met that the Irish couple became Christians.
Gwendolyn shares that to make a life worthwhile, “you need to walk closely with the Lord” and that this is a daily walk. She is confident that “God can use the person who thinks they can’t be used.” While Gwendolyn graduated almost seventy years ago, she has sustained friendships with those she met at Tyndale and Manulife. Phone calls, visits and memories all keep these friendships alive for this ninety-year-old who still begins each day doing her devotions.