HAPPY HELPING MY NEIGHBOR
“I had another experience…it was an entity. This other entity said the same thing—that I should be helping my neighbor. So this came to reassure me…I have to work with people who are less fortunate than I am. It’s not good to work at a bank as I did before. I wasn’t happy with desks and papers, dealing with the public. None of that made me happy.”
Eldo Rodrigues da Paixão is the husband of Nanã de Yemanjá and is also a follower of Candomblé, the religion that developed in Brazil’s West African slave communities in the early 1800s. Eldo’s role in the community is as a drummer. Drumming is an integral part of Candomblé ceremonies.
Nána de Yemanjá likes to refer to Eldo as her “beautiful Black man!” Eldo has a larger-than-life smile and a big open heart. It didn’t surprise me when he said in his interview that he felt called to stop working in a bank and, instead, to work with those less fortunate. I can relate to Eldo because I struggled over the years with where I belonged—in the world of business and marketing or the world of spirituality and faith.
My dear friend Janet Reid, Ph.D. once asked me, “How is Daniel?” and I responded “Ah, I am trying to discern God’s will for my life.”
Janet responded, “Well, if it’s God’s will you’re trying to understand, don’t try to think your way there! Spend your time in prayer and meditation!”
At one time, I thought I was supposed to pursue Portraits in Faith to the exclusion of my role in the business world or having a family. But then I came to understand that my family life, spiritual life, and my business life were all critical parts of me. They gave extra dimension to what Portraits in Faith meant, and why I’d pursued it all these years.
Today, I believe that each of us receives the message of where our contributions are most needed if we listen deeply and allow spirit to flow through us. That happened for Eldo Rodrigues da Paixão, and I believe it happens for each of us.