For the first half of yesterday I wondered how the world could be so wonderful. The leafless trees and clouds and blue sky, cold clean air, the Switchfoot song Daylight to Break, the quotes of Frederick Buechner. Cookies at coffee break and a letter from Anna. You didn't have to make the world an intricate, enormous piece of art, but You did. You didn't have to give us the capacity to love beauty and to create our own but You did. You didn't have to allow small ordinary happiness like letters and jam biscuits with sunshine but You did. Because you love beauty and good things and love us and made us to love beauty too.
This morning the service's theme was the world and its problems and praying for it. There was one song that talked of "Lord please end this injustice and bring hope to the hopeless and freedom to the slaves" and it was a good song but all through it (in between hyperventilating about screwing up the powerpoint, which thanks to deficient mind-reading skills I did several times--the screwing up I mean) I couldn't help wondering, what's the point of singing about it if we're sitting here in our comfortable first-world chairs doing nothing? And then Sue who was running the service handed around coffee beans (fair trade) and said, taste the bitterness, the bitterness of the persecuted church and the orphans and slaves and children trapped in brothels and I did, but how can we ever know, how can we understand? As she prayed, listing all those things, I could think only "Someone has to do something, I have to do something," and it didn't feel like me making myself think that, if that makes sense, but just those words, beating over and over through my mind.
A minute ago--sitting here by the front door, wrapped in a blanket, looking over the hills--I asked God to make it clear, so absolutely clear so I could not mistake it, and He brought to mind the service earlier and what had happened, and what Rob Whittaker had said in his lecture on yesterday about your calling being something were were perfectly made for, something that is your "complaint" ("This needs to change, so I will change it") and He said, "Didn't I?".
Buechner: "What can we do that makes us gladdest, what can we do that leaves us with the strongest sense of sailing true north and of peace, which is much of what gladness is? Is it making things with our hands our of wood or stone or paint on canvas? Or is it making something we hope like truth out of words? Or is it making people laugh or weep in a way that cleanses their spirits? I believe that if it is a thing that makes us truly glad, then it is a good thing and it is our thing and it is the calling voice that we were made to answer with our lives. ...The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet."***
After that I came inside (sitting on frigid stone can only last for so long) and read the end of Isaiah. Two things stuck out, two themes that ended up with loads of underlining:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name, you are mine.
Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen, to loose the chains of injustice...to set the oppressed free and break every yoke...
So it's (as far as I know so far) majoring in communications and minoring in Hindi next year, aiming towards an internship with IJM and maybe hopefully possibly working with them. Or something similar with someone similar. Who knows.
So we'll begin with this
and who knows where it will all lead...