The Week 21 guide for the Online Retreat in Everyday Life is here.
“Love changes the way we make choices because love changes what we desire.” Take this out of the context of this week’s guide, and it still holds its truth. Love changes everything; it changes how we hear things.
I have been thinking about calls all week. I sometimes use different rings to indicate different people when my phone rings. My husband’s ring always makes me want to dance and I inevitably answer the phone with a smile on my face. When the office calls me, it’s a ring that bears no ignoring — loud and obnoxious and insistent: I don’t want to miss their calls, and I need to know that I need to get them. My best friend calls, though, and it’s a quiet little happy tune, exactly the sort of peace and harmony she brings to my life so often.
What ring would I choose for Jesus?
Well, it used to be the two-by-four-to-the-head ring. You know the one, where there’s a big bruise and an ice pack involved, and boy, does He have my attention.
Then it transformed to the knock-knock-KNOCK-WHAP ring. I’d know it was coming, that big WHAP at the end, because I had tuned in to hearing the soft knocks. I just didn’t answer in time to avoid the WHAP.
Finally we grew together so that I could hear the soft knocks, and we worked our way to the cluck-cluck ring. It’s the sort of sound I’ve heard mother ewes make when they’re trying to get their lambs’ attention. (No, sheep don’t cluck but I do when I’m imitating this sound, so that’s why I call it a “cluck.”) “Come here, love,” the grunt-cluck seems to say.
I’m hoping to get to the point where Jesus can just go to silent mode when He calls, where I’ll just feel His hand on my shoulder, see Him pointing down the path He intends me to go. I’m trying to listen better and to respond. The help I find for this, more than anything, is a set time for Adoration (with or without Exposition) and a set commitment every single day to prayer first.
In the context of love, our call from God sounds different, doesn’t it? Instead of seeing the bore and chore of motherhood, I see the responsibility of the lives and the joy they bring to me. Instead of focusing on the burden of some of the special projects that have been placed in my lap, I see the blessings they bring me as I stretch and grow. Instead of wondering why I have such a wonderful husband when I’m such a slug of a person, I see how he helps me always strive towards heaven.
Jesus “does not call to us from way up ahead, nor above, but actually from beside and behind. In a strange mysterious way, we watch Him in front of us, but He calls to us from behind. He so reverences our freedom that He allows us to take this road or that and He watches and follows.”
Do you see Him there, beside you? Can you feel His hand slipping into yours? Do you see Him smile at you?
What’s He calling you to this week? How will you answer?