Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I’ve been thinking about the idea of vocation and calling in life. More to the point, of what God expects from us. I know there are many Christians who feel the pressure / calling / need to be missionaries, pastors, ministers of some sort. They feel that God calls ALL people to spread the word and directly serve His ministry. These are the obvious spiritual vocations. But, who is to say that living your life and doing what you are doing is not the right ‘vocation’ God intended for you. Not everyone can be a pastor or a missionary. As honorable and great and admirable those life paths are, does being an ordinary working Joe or Jane make a life any less meaningful?

I’ve had moments in my life where I’ve felt especially guilt-stricken for having a life that most people in 3rd world countries could only dream about; feelings that I’m not doing enough, not helping enough. I’ve thought, “F*** it all, I should just go join the Peace Corps”. But then reality sets in; I find myself tied to my family obligations. I began to recognize my inability to tear away from my current life responsibilities. And I would feel “useless” like I wasn’t doing enough to ‘earn’ God’s love.

I had neglected to see the ‘works’ I was able to do on God’s behalf in my ordinary non-Ghandi-like life: the help I provided my sister in babysitting, the listening ear I would lend to a friend, the donations I made to a local mission, setting a good example by being kind, etc. Small things make a difference, too. Doing things with love makes a difference.

In the book I’m reading, a beautiful image is described with regard to this question of vocation. There is a description of a photograph of a father reading down and lovingly reading a book to his seven year old daughter who is developmentally challenged, unable to talk or walk – in a wheelchair looking up at her daddy. She is wearing a frilly dress and has bows in here hair – someone lovingly tied them in and dressed her to look presentable and dignified as a little girl should. She cannot tell him what she feels and she cannot walk and will need to be cared for the rest of her life. She is, with regard to how most people operate, “useless”. She will never be able to verbally minister or preach or perform great acts of charity as a missionary in a foreign land. But her father loves her as his greatest treasure. Just as she is. Her very act of being is precious in his eyes and he wouldn’t trade her for the world.

I think the love of God is even beyond this father’s love.

God loves us.

As is.