There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and
crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not
in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a
light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his
cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. –1 Kings 19:11-13
It is Tuesday afternoon, and I am writing from home. This
column should have been done and in already. It is not, because even a job
working for the church is not as important as some things.
Around 9 p.m. last night my youngest son threw up, and my
bride informed me she didn’t feel well either.
Between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. or so, my son was sick probably two dozen
times. Jodi did not get as sick, but was as sleepless as Trevor—and I tried to
stay clear so that hopefully I could handle little Lily in the morning and keep
her from catching whatever this was.
I rose and prayed with Jodi at 5:30. She felt a bit better,
and Trevor was sleeping, at last. At
around 6, Emma was sick the first time, and by 8, Lily was complaining that she
didn’t feel well either. I was getting ready for work—Day 2 with our new faith
formation coordinator, Andrea Zachman—but had the sinking feeling that it was
only a matter of time before it hit me, and that my colleagues might rather I
stayed home. I was torn—I felt fine, but so had Trevor and Emma before it hit,
and I had plenty of work to do. Lily seemed fine, but if she were on the verge,
I didn’t want her spreading it to her friends and their families. Jodi was
torn, too—she didn’t feel great, but had a mountain of work waiting for her and
didn’t feel she could afford to miss a day.
And as fate would have it, we had a blanket of fresh snow on
the walk, cars, and roads.
Ultimately we compromised: we both went to work briefly to
take care of a few things and bring some additional work home to do around our
other duties. We were out of several basic food items in our house, so I fought
the blowing snow to stock up on a few things—and now here I sit, writing
We are all called by God—do you hear Him? I often imagine
the God of the prophets speaking to them in a deep, thundering voice, but
that’s not what we hear in first Kings, above. Elijah recognizes the Lord in “a
light, silent sound”—other translations say “a sound of sheer silence” or “a
still, small voice.” God whispers, as it were, drawing us close with his words,
into an intimate conversation with Him.
Unfortunately, the noise of the world too often drowns Him
out. We hear the voices of our colleagues and bosses ringing in our ears; the
ringing of the phone and ping of emails, IMs, and texts…the traffic report…the weather…and
nothing of the still, small voice of God.
Excuse me a minute: my other high-schooler, Gabe, just
called—he’s sick and can’t drive himself home. Jodi and I need to go get him
and the Suburban.
We are all called to a first and universal vocation of
holiness. Most of us are called to live out that first vocation in terms of a
second vocation to marriage and family life—we sanctify ourselves, our spouses,
and our children by imaging God Who is Love. Everything else we do and are come
in below that. We are created from Love,
and Love is our purpose and end. That’s all. That’s enough.
Because that’s everything.
Labels: column, conversion, discipleship, family, fatherhood, Gabe, Jodi, kids, love, marriage, Rose, scripture, Trev, vocation, work