Our search for our calling leads us to listen deep within ourselves, hoping to hear the echo within, hoping to untangle and understand the incarnate word spoken into us, hoping to discover how to live into and out of the echo of that word as it resounds within. But we are not meant to stay within ourselves forever. We are meant to be given away, to sound out our word in the world, to give it to others.
We are being given to others at all times. What else would being called be about? Our calling is about something considerably larger than our own fulfillment.
When we wrestle with our calling, part of what we are called to do is to see and hear and notice those to whom we in particular are being given…called to take the time and make the effort to discover who is being given to us and no one else. We are called to look for–and maybe even to find–a place and ways to serve where no one else will.
Who is knocking on your door these days? Who keeps calling?
Whose stories can you not get out of your mind and heart? Who keeps grinning when they see you coming? Who has a story that could be helped by hearing yours? Who could use a cup of cold water, and no one else has even noticed?
Who is my neighbor? Whose neighbors keep passing them by on the other side of the road?
To whom am I being given for this season of my life, for this stretch of my days? And who is being given to me? Who will go unnoticed or unattended if I do not answer this call?
“I have tried to write poetry for those for whom there is no poetry,” said the poet Philip Levine in a letter to a friend.
Who will have no poetry if I am not the poet?
Who will have no bread if I am not the baker? Who will see no light if I hide mine under a bushel?
To be called is to be sent. And we are being sent to someone as much as we are being sent by Someone.
To be called is to keep looking for those to whom we are being given.
~ from The Echo Within by Robert Benson, pp. 89-91 (bold emphases mine)
[Book Giveaway: On Monday, April 20th, 2009, I will announce the winner of the drawing for a free copy of The Echo Within. To enter the drawing you must be an email subscriber to this blog. To subscribe to receive The Cruciform Life Blog by email, go to the top of the side bar on the right of this page and click on the “RECEIVE BY EMAIL” link. I will draw one winner from a list of all of my email subscribers on Sunday, April 19th, 2009, and then post the results at 12am on Monday. Once I’ve made contact with the winner and have verified a shipping address, I will have the book signed by Robert Benson and shipped to them.]