The Deacon’s Corner is a monthly feature written by The Rev. David Walker, Deacon at St. John’s Cathedral
“Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
The “Call of Samuel” is one of my all-time favorite portions of Scripture. Samuel’s response, like Mary and the first disciples, were to unique calls from God in ways that speak to some deep trust of God that will thrust them into circumstances of uncertainty with little control of the outcome. In comparison, I think I’m more like Moses, often times seeking ways to “put God off” or remind him that I don’t have the skill, energy or, you guessed it, trust, to respond “yes” to situations that appear out of my comfort zone or areas where I perceive I have strengths.
How are you being called? How are you being stretched to experience new challenges and pushed to grow and learn? Maybe you haven’t received a direct communication from God to try something new, but I suspect many of us have received a request from our friends, co-workers, fellow church and family members to help in areas that initially appear uncomfortable. I remember being asked to help with Family Promise by Dean Ellis and not wanting to disappoint him, said yes. I really didn’t want to do it but it is a long-standing ministry of the Cathedral and we’ve had such amazing and committed volunteers, I couldn’t say no.
I’m glad I said “yes.” I’ve experienced getting to know my fellow parishioners better who volunteer, I’ve met some amazing families who are living in some level of crisis on a daily basis, I’ve learned that my ideas of homelessness and what constitutes chronic stress were understood from the lens of having a roof over my head, having choices regarding food and entertainment options and having employment that I both enjoyed and supported my family. I’ve come to realize that I probably wasn’t a very compassionate person and by helping to provide a meal, some dinner table conversation and a quiet and clean place to sleep, my empathy and concern for the families we serve and with whom I help volunteer is changing who I am from the inside out.
So again, how are you being called? What potential experiences are awaiting you that will transform your mind, heart and soul? Maybe it’s with Family Promise or Windfall. Maybe it’s challenging yourself to join with others from the congregation who are engaging opportunities for learning and spiritual formation through the Sunday Forms or Wednesday evening programs. Maybe it’s through the Brotherhood of St. Andrew or weekly Bible study. Maybe it’s just being more mindful of your next door neighbor. I don’t know, but the joys of living into what God is nudging you towards can be nothing short of life altering.
From John’s Gospel for the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany, Philip said to Nathanael, “Come and see.” I invite you to do the same as God calls each of us to new experiences and insights that will transform our own lives and bring the Kingdom just that much closer.