Saturday, February 25, 2006

Messages Awaited & Received

I'm listening. I'm waiting to hear . . . from God.

I know of too many people who believed they were following God's calling only to realize later amid the ruins of shattered dreams that they were only elevating their wants and desires in an attempt to give them God's stamp of approval.

Perhaps this too was God's will, but I am generally not a risk taker and would be quite happy if God would resurrect the now defunct telegram - brief, to the point, hard to misinterpret messages or instructions - but that's not how God works.

So I'm listening.

I never received a telegram in my life . . . in fact I had never really seen one up close until last weekend at The Big House. You'll have to click on the photo to read it and I've blurred out some words to protect Roy J. and Helen's privacy.

Roy J. was a POW for two years during World War II, but initially he was believed to be killed in action. Roy and Helen were not married but they were in love and Helen says she never came to believe Roy was gone. Last weekend I listened as she told the story of going to a "Spiritualist" when Roy had been reported "presumed killed in action." Such a visit was then and is still quite contrary to Helen's deep religious convictions. Yet she was convinced by friends to go and she "heard" a calling to follow their lead.

Helens swears that "Spiritualist"- who disappeared a short time later - told her not only that Roy was alive, but that he would return from the war, they would marry, and have seven children . . . one of whom would die.

Many years have gone by since that one visit to a mysterious "Spiritualist" but all those predictions came true.

I don't know what to think about that . . . but I'm listening.

I know that Roy and Helen have lived a long and complex love story, two years of which were marred by what must have been a daily sense of fear and apprehension. I can't imagine what that must have been like, yet their story gives me hope.

You see, as Lent approaches I suspect Amy and I may be heading into one of the most difficult times of our lives spiritually. I've already decided to do my "usual lenten thing" - fast and walk - but I have this vague sense that this season will lead us to change . . . more drastic change than in years past.

Lately Amy and I have been struggling with what we "think" we're hearing from God on several levels, calling us to service and certainly calling us out of our comfort zone.

At times we believe we've heard God calling us away.

So we're struggling a bit . . . trying to find a balance between our beliefs, our desires, and what we consider our duty.

When in a place of spiritual uncertainty, my approach is often one of caution . . . to wait . . . and to allow God's will to reveal itself . . . in God's time. Yet there are issues it appears we must address and thus the recent apprehension in our lives.

In any case, my intent this Lenten season is to listen and try to hear God.

But Lord if You'd prefer to zap together a telegram so we get it straight . . . please don't let me stop You.