Whom Shall I Send? . . . Send Me.
I love last Sunday’s Old Testament lesson from Isaiah that begins, “In the year that King Uzziah died ….” I’ve been in choirs most of my life, so I often hear scripture through familiar anthems, and this was no exception. I sang along in my head as it was read: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!”
Like many of you, I do believe that God sends us to do God’s will: bearing witness; advancing God’s earthly realm of justice, peace and health; accomplishing God-only-knows-what. There are numerous times in our lives when we answer, “Here am I; send me!” Like good Washingtonians, we may want to clarify for what reason we are being sent, and we have prayerful talks with our Creator before signing on.
I am coming to the end of a three-year commitment to serve St. Alban’s as lay pastoral care coordinator. I heard a call to do this specific work and answered Yes. And now? I’m pretty sure that stepping away is God’s will for me. But I have no idea where I’m being sent.
Have you experienced a call to move from your current path onto an unknown road? Not just a new or different road, but a blank map? This is new ground for me. The process seems to require more quiet time, more listening to God’s assurance. It seems to ask that I not worry so much about doing. And after all these years, this new direction is asking me to learn to be.
I’m probably in God’s slow-learner class. It’s a small group, but I may have seen a few of you there. We’ve concentrated on being “doers of the Word” for a long time and perhaps ignored the fact that the Word abides in us. Through prayer, I’ve come to think there may be a time in our lives to just be loving, be joyful, be faithful, and be saved. If the being becomes some new doing, that’s fine, but not required. Those of us in our later years come to realize that in our busy-ness, we haven’t learned to just be. Be with others. With God. With ourselves.
So here am I, God; send me! Send me onto an unmarked road, offer me an empty calendar, allow me to be quiet. Thank you for the many years of work you have given me to do. Now teach me to be still and to know you. Amen.
(But not ‘til August.)