Monday, January 19, 2009

Called out (Part 1)

It occurred to me the longer I sit on this, the less of it is going to stay with me. So I'll write down the outline, fill in where I can, and then there will be subsequent parts in which I hope I'll have the presence of mind to refer back to this one.

I keep referring to conversations with a friend, but that seems to have been where much of this last little while has started. I'll write something, he'll write something back, and a voice whispers "why not do something about it?"

I don't hear this voice. I didn't even think about it until now, but that's the pattern. Call. Response. Action.

I am not a born leader. I am painfully shy by nature (most people do not believe this about me), and with the shyness comes all the usual baggage that goes with. I'm a middle child, so a made diplomat. Two things I seem to have been born with that have guided me--a rock-solid internal compass and my faith.

In other words, not much in the way of raw weaponry.

At some point I am going to have to write a little more in depth about my history because the past is prologue. But the short take is that I survived, was wise enough at age 20 to know my soulmate when I met him, and that relationship has become the foundation for the adult I am today.

(This was a much longer and painful process than I make out, but for now it will have to do)

Our belief structures always placed an interesting tension between us. DH is agnostic, a scientist, and doesn't believe anything that he can't mathematically and scientifically prove. That said, he is the mirror for all my blind spots. Yet, I am the steward of my family--I am the mover behind a substantial portion of the bigger decisions regarding our family's welfare.

"Just trust me," I've pleaded more than once.

He always has, and by and large, I've never been wrong.

And not because I am all that brilliant--it's all about the faith and the compass.

So, having scaled this out at the broadest possible level, a series of events in October, mentioned here in part, led me to doing more work in early childhood, early education, joining the local education task force. Two months ago, I knew one person in the room.

At the meeting last week, all the movers and the shakers in the room were talking to me--wanted to talk to me, were seeking me out, wanted to meet.....

How does that happen?

And this isn't the only part of my life where this is happening. I have struck up a couple relationships with a Christian couple and an awesome dad whose 5 year old has Downs Syndrome--and for reasons that aren't altogether clear to me, I'm finding my political views aligning with my personal views...can't go here now, this is a post all its own....

Dealing with the MIL situation, again, talking to this friend, who responds sympathetically, with the impetus to CHANGE hard on its heels. I change. It's fixed. And it's amazing what little it took.

I can't shake the feeling that I'm being spoken to in more ways than one we talk. I took this feeling to church with me, and the answers to my internal questions left me....well, speechless.

First reading, God calls to Samuel in the temple.
Second reading, You are a temple of the holy spirit
Gospel: Jesus calls Peter to follow him

Homily: Fr. Mike once again gets up there and knocks it out of the park "You can't pick and choose what you want to hear, that gives the devil his in," he said. "You need to be listening, really listening, and be prepared to do it all. He's calling each one of us. Are you listening?"

Oh, yes.

The offertory hymn, The Summons, made me sit up straight: verse 2

Will you leave yourself behind
If I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind
And never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare
Should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer
In you and you in me?

and 4:
Will you love the ‘you’ you hide
If I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside
And never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found
To reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound
In you and you in me?

It goes without saying that I needed to have a word with Father Mike after church.

I told him about my ongoing conversations and how the homily spoke to me, and he said "Excellent, it's great to be challenged--and we need to be." Then he asked me if MIL was gone and I started jumping down and singing--and wow, I DON'T know where that came from, but I'm cringing thinking about it.

He held my hand and laughed saying peace takes many forms...

So, coming back around, with the events and changes of the last month--and you see, this might not seem like much, but it is, there is so much more happening here that I just can't write about right now--and it's the WAY I'm doing things, too. I remember about a year ago I filled in as lector at a 7 am mass, and I was not dressed to be on the altar (not horrible, but jeans and a Henley shirt--not really church attire), but I did it because there wasn't anyone else stepping forward.

Anyway an elderly woman came up to me and complimented me on my reading and I apologized for not being dressed for it.

"No one notices that," she admonished. "You have a face full of joy-that's what I see."

That encounter stays with me. Lately when I am up there reading, I know I have the attention of every person sitting in there. Suddenly, it seems I have this voice that makes people turn....and pay attention. Not just in this space, but everywhere I go. And I'm wondering what they know that I don't.

I am wise enough to know: "That's not me."

It seems lately I have a lot of help, and I need to get somewhere. And that things have been happening so quickly, almost urgently, scares me.

And the sword and shield metaphor....seems alarmingly apt to me now.

I wonder what's coming. And whether I'm ready for it.

No comments: