In Eastertide 2015 I am looking for what new things the Resurrection is bringing forth in the world and in me. What am I called to do in light of the promise of new life? I have gotten all wrapped up this week in wondering how to talk about Call and vocation…and then this this week happened–what a week! The country of Nepal is staggering is unbelievable grief, destitution and bafflement after a huge earthquake has killed thousand of people, has cut off many from life-giving supply line and has razed place after place that people called home. It almost defies imagination! What am I to do?
Another evening falls, and a section of Baltimore goes up in smoke manifesting years of tension in the area between the residents and police. There are tears, there is fear, there is rage, there are too many news media covering the events and non-events. And the anguish is horrifying and palpable. Again what am I to do?
I am a woman with choices–retired, educated, housed and fed. I live in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural neighborhood in a huge metropolitan city in Southern California, and I have lived here for over 30 years. The challenges of this metropolis are enormous. What am I called to do?
Two stories from sacred texts have grounded me this week. The first is the story of Moses in Exodus 3 in which he encounters an angel wrapped in a bush that won’t stop burning, and is told that this is holy ground. Doing what I know to do, yet, yet turning aside to see what is new, is the dynamic in which my call is uncovered. It is here shepherding the flocks that Moses discovered what the next right steps were for his call.
The other story that tugs at my heart has similarities. After the resurrection the disciples don’t know what to do or where to go, so they return to the familiar family business of fishing. And once again, that is the place of Holy encounter–Jesus invites them to breakfast on the beach, and then lets them discover their call in a Q and A with Peter; it is command to to feed his sheep as an act of Love. It seems very generic–but it is an ample directive, suitable to almost any place that each one of them will find himself. To feed in a spiritual sense is to welcome, to nourish, to take care of–for Love’s sake.
So this last week unfolded with opportunities to recognize Holy Ground underneath me and with ways to express Love to those who were brought to me: for the rescue, recovery and healing of Nepal, there were opportunities to give and to pray, some with specific need and names; for Baltimore, I had the chance to be grateful for the spiritual community leadership that arose gave witness and strength to the slow evolution toward calm. Each of those sites is Holy Ground–God is there in the carnage and struggle to heal. What is more, I only need to be aware of turning aside to nurture and nourish those given to me each day in the name of Love. I found that one day after another there were requests for prayers to be offered–for one in surgery, for one in despair, for one who is dying, another in treatment, someone in transition–and often the call for the day prompted an action–a letter to a senator, a wee gift sent for encouragement, a date for a phone call, a card for remembering, a check to help defray the expenses. Some of the connections were surprising! I was grateful that my pace could be measured enough to slow down, see if the call had my name on it, and then respond.
As long as I have life and breath, I am given opportunity to respond to the Call of the Holy, as long as I claim Holy Ground and do what i do for Love’s sake.