So often we don’t act because we don’t think we make a difference, as if one voice doesn’t matter, as if the buzz that comes off of our lives is insignificant. But that mindset negates the power of community — of people who put their heads down and work and get the job done, of singers who lift one voice and form a chorus, of worshippers who gather around a common table and form one body in Christ. That’s the buzz of our lives, the bee-loud glade of our existence.
The voice of God is the voice that tells us to love beyond all else. It is the voice that calls us to union with itself and communion with all those around us. The voice of God tells us we have meaning and purpose.
It’s okay to not be productive for a while (and that’s a tough one for me). It’s okay to simply sit “fallow” with God in prayer, without agenda or even words, knowing that God is plowing and harrowing me, leaving me unsown in order to restore my fruitfulness at the time only God controls. God’s work, God’s time.
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.