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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Call

"This is the ultimate power of the Call: It's a summons to the world to devote itself to God ... If you put your life in my hands, he suggests, you will be rewarded ... In God's beckoning, the sacrifice is known, even the reward is known, but the route, the location, even the deliverer of the message are unknown. To be a descendant of Abraham is to live in that gap - to glance back at your native land, to peer ahead to your nameless destination, and to wonder, Do I have the courage to make the leap?"
                                                                                                       - Bruce Feiler, Abraham

Do I have the courage to make the leap?

More specifically:

I've been invited to be a part of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) training in preparation for working with the organization over the next three years.  In a few weeks I will go to Chicago for a month of CPT training, but will I graduate from training?  Will  learn what I need to learn? Am I cut out for the hard, sometimes dangerous, often stressful, work of oppression-challenging and peace-making that CPT does? Am I as ready as I say I am to put my whole body where my mouth is, to put my whole self into God's hands? Am I ready to work in Colombia, Iraq, or Palestine as an advocate for justice?

My answer is I don't know.  I think of the times I have allowed fear to guide me, the times I've run from God's open hands, not trusting that they would hold me with care.  There have been many such times.  Too many.  Times when I looked into the eyes of someone who is hurting, knowing that I was capable of alleviating some small part of their pain, and turned away.  Times when I listened to someone say hateful and hurtful things and, rather than challenging them, was silent.  Times when I have simply been too lazy to bother reaching out, speaking out, acting on the values I profess to hold, even when I am capable of doing so.

Who's to say that I won't run again?  Who's to say that the invitation to personal comfort won't tempt me more than the sometimes difficult path of personal integrity, of justice, towards a peace that seems impossible?

I write here, in part, so that I won't run away, so that I hold myself accountable in a public way.  As a result, I know the warmth of God's hands through your love and support, whether I feel the physical gesture when I see you or the embrace of your words.  Writing keeps me more faithful to the Call, more steady as I walk through and towards the unknown, towards the place where I will not only be invited to walk ahead, but to leap.

Do I have the courage to make the leap?


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