A young man had just been admitted with terminal cancer and was not “doing well,” said the Emergency Room attendant. The call came around 7:30 am to Gaye who volunteers as an on-call chaplain at the hospital.
On Sunday I preached on another call, the famous call of Isaiah.
One of the points I circled around in that sermon was how the call of God does not always – indeed probably usually does not – involve six-winged seraphim and burning coals applied to lips. Our more subtle and persistent yearnings, interests, curiosities may also be a way God calls.
So I wonder about the call from the hospital. Was it simply another moment in the daily reality of a hospital or was it another link for me in a growing sequence of reminders of how precarious life can be – Ed’s multiple myeloma, John’s sudden death, the appearance of breast cancer and heart disease within apparently healthy people in the congregation.
During the sermon I teased about whether God might be calling me to a ministry of presence on a nice warm beach. The serious dimension of the caricature is wondering why, when the topic of call arises, I tend to go to the more sacrificial place of bearing a cross or becoming chaplain to a community of extroverts in a mosquito infested part of the world? Can not the urge to stop and delight in the wonder of the gift of life, the joyous laughter of grandchildren or the grandeur of creation also be a form of call?
I wonder. Or is my spirit like Luongo facing down a shooter from the point, attempting to get something in the way to block a more dangerous word?