“Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the Lord’s glory has shone upon you. Though darkness covers the earth and gloom the nations, the LORD will shine upon you; God’s glory will appear over you. Nations will come to your light and kings to your dawning radiance. Lift up your eyes and look all around….” Isaiah 60:1-4a
What is your calling?
Last night I was reading reflections on life by Annie Dillard, after learning that a dear friend who has been battling breast cancer just entered hospice care. Dillard rights about an artist capturing passing clouds on canvas and how strange it seems that the images of those clouds are still with us long after those he loves have passed away.
In light of this, what is your calling?
To paint those clouds that are sailing by, to somehow capture their passing beauty? Or is your calling to love deeply those right next to you, whose lives don’t last much longer than the clouds? Is your purpose simply to show the world that here, in this person, is someone beautiful, someone holy; that this face reveals the Light of the world? Just this was the calling of Mary, the calling of Joseph, the calling of the shepherds and the Magi, of Simeon and Anna. This may be our calling, to uncover the face of Christ hidden in a child who is wrapped up in rags, pushed aside in poverty, overlooked as others hurry on their way to something better. Look! Hereis the something better, the very best of God.
We think so often in terms of faith as a journey, of pressing on to the next great thing. But this is not what the ancients were commended for, no. We confuse our calling with restlessness. We trade the inner silence of the Spirit for a compulsion: this feeling that we need to keep moving or we will die. Faith whispers in a different tongue, “Arise, my Love. Lift up your eyes. Look at the skies, consider the clouds and the stars. Know that I am here; I am with you, I am.”
Keep believing, keep trusting, keep listening and most of all, keep longing in your heart of hearts for more love than this world can hold. Let your heart be broken by the beauty that is right here, right now, that is more than you can comprehend, more than you can capture in words. Yes, life is more than any poet or painter, engineer or environmentalist can analyze. But your calling is to point to the light you see. In your words and in your way, describe the way this light touches the passing clouds.
Take time to express love and take in the beauty of life today. There is so much more than we can ever express, but we have been given words enough to touch another life. There is so much more than we can take in, but God gives us hearts that can open to receive the light of Christ.