.- Darren Stern, a Catholic HVAC mechanic based near Baltimore, Maryland, isn’t shy about sharing his belief with customers.
In an interview with EWTN News In Depth that aired on March 12, Stern spoke about giving customers a small “wind-up Jesus” figure to keep near their air conditioner.
“Well, a lot of times I think if you want this air conditioner to keep going, hold onto that little Jesus because I think it’s the only thing that’ll make it work,” Stern said. When customers ask him if their device’s problem is “that bad”, he replies, “It’s that bad!”
“Everyone needs a little Jesus in their life,” said Stern.
Stern says his beliefs carried him through suffering from chronic anxiety that he struggled with for nearly 20 years.
“I was like a perfectionist and I didn’t want to let people down,” Stern told EWTN News In Depth. His worry and stress affected him so much that he could not eat.
“I would just keep going because I think about it. It was all you could do, just move on, just move on, move on, ”he said of dealing with his fear.
Stern turned to God when all else failed. “It got so bad that I was ready to give up and said, ‘Jesus, you have to help me. I had to go through this and didn’t know how to go through it. I didn’t know what was going to happen, ”Stern recalled.
“If you have nothing, then Jesus is all you have and I was down in the end,” he said.
After years of prayer, Stern said he learned to surrender to God. “Just talk to him and just listen,” he said of his prayer to Jesus.
“I gave up. I said to myself, ‘Let Jesus take all the bad things,'” he said.
“I started using all the energy that was just building up inside of me and I stopped worrying so much about what other people were thinking and all the problems,” he said. “Just go out there and do the best you can, and that’s what I’ve been focusing on over and over again.”
And Stern’s faith gave him hope too. “You know I still wake up scared, everyone does. You will have that, but it’s different now. ”
“You know Jesus is right there, what can go wrong?”