You don’t become like me by belonging to some exclusive inner circle, some elite club, nor by having the correct political views. To become like me, you must learn to strip down your lives to what is essential and give your self in service to others. You must do the jobs others don’t want to do, must risk getting dirty and involved in things you would rather ignore.
I was sent to the market by my mother with very clear instructions: Buy five small barley loaves and two dried and salted fish. Nothing more. And come right back home. I was only 12 at the time, so I never could have imagined how much my life would change that day…
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. And that voice…that voice. What was it about that voice? Such authority and kindness. Eternal, somehow, as if it had always been here. I almost laughed but didn’t. What did he think I wanted? “I want to see.”
This is the call to a life of active contemplation, to a life of listening for the voice of God and actually expecting to hear something. Not a sound, perhaps, but nevertheless a knowing, a sense of God’s presence and direction.
Memo to the Church: Beginning next Sunday, we will have a new vision statement: “Do justice, love goodness and walk humbly with your God.” Thanks to Micah and the mission and vision committee for putting in all the hard work and wordsmithing. I think this has a nice ring to it.
God, of course, is the giver of everything that is good and creative in our lives, even though we tend to call these things “mine.” MY gifts, MY time, MY talents. Carelessly and thoughtlessly, we can convince ourselves that we have earned these things when, in fact, they are pure gifts.
The announcement, the call to her in the midst of sleep,
is the very beginning of the story,
the pinhole of opportunity,
the invitation to grace
the way opening to way.
Here I am, waiting to respond to your call. Tell me where you want me to go.
Here I am, give me wisdom and courage to make the right choices and turns.
Here I am, take my life, my will, my liberty, my memory, my understanding.
God plants a passion and a call deep within us, an original seed of purpose and foundation that lies dormant until we discover it, cultivate it, bring it fruition. This is our life’s work.
The creative arts, at least for many of us who profess a Creator God, are acts of faith. When we dare to create, when we “step out the boat,” we move from safety and comfort into an area of uncertainty, for when we begin to create we don’t always know where we are going to end up.