Saturday, December 13, 2008

fiat mihi

Read Luke 1:26-38

'I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.'
- - Francis Thompson, "The Hound of Heaven"

Moses was a good role model, with his protests about being unable to speak in public. Jeremiah resonated with his protests about being too young, too immature, too inexperienced to stand up and proclaim the Lord's word. In fact, the Bible is filled with so many more people who try to worm their way out of God's insistent, persistent notion that they are precisely the ones - untested, unworthy, unknown - God has decided to use for purposes the called could not begin to understand.

So, with such good company, it was easy for me to convince myself at age 14, and 24, and 34, that the only option I had when I heard God call me, one summer at camp, to ministry was to run. And so I ran. And ran. And ran. Until that persistent, insistent God had turned me in the direction that was intended all along, and I reached the destination I had been longing for, despite every effort to deny it.

But Mary?

That young, little, innocent, unmarried girl who had every legitimate, and reasonable, excuse to say no, to run away, to claim the right to enjoy her childhood, to simply get married to that simple craftsman from Nazareth? What was her response? Did she say, 'Uh, you were looking for someone else named Mary, right?' No, she replied (though, I hope with a lot of fear and trembling), "Let it be to me according to your will."

With these simple words, her life, my life, our lives were changed forever. Because she was willing to speak those words of hope, of acceptance, of trust, of welcome.

That's why we can all go running into the laughter of God without fear, reluctance, or protest.

Prayer: Help us to be as willing to say simply, and hopefully, 'let it be' - for it is, dear Lord, it is. amen.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

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