Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Whisper of Calls

As Elijah, the Lord spoke to me in the whispering wind - the unexplainable feelings in prayer, in other people.

At first, He whispered "Serve My poor". And so I did, being with the poor of the cities and the poor of the mountains.

Then, I heard "Be a Sister".
"Certainly, I imagined this," I thought, but the whisper came again and I realized it was God. This time I spoke. I spoke of my unworthiness. Perhaps He made a mistake and meant to call someone with more faith, with more gifts. But God persisted, so I asked "When? Where? How? Show me a sign!"

I searched and searched, never finding a definite sign. I remained faithful to serving His poor, but this call was more troubling, more impossible.

While serving His poor in Itocta (Bolivia), I saw the sign - a community I laughed with, a community I loved. I followed His call and joined them, but I soon realized it was no sign at all. Instead of increasing in holiness, I was increasing in unhappiness. A Sister begged me to plead for a sign from the Lord - surely, He would tell me to stay. I was tired of signs. I didn't understand them. But out of holy obedience, I asked. No sign came and I left, pretending I had never heard that first whisper.

But soon He returned with that same whisper: "Be a Sister..."
"Don't You see? Look what happened! No, Lord, You're mistaken" I replied and began to ignore His voice.

But the whisper became louder and louder. I then wrote the Daughters of Charity, an old address from years ago. "If they don't respond, I'll take it as a sign," I thought. They responded but still I wasn't convinced.

I was cautious until one night, in prayer before His presence, I heard Him say 'Give Your heart to me and to the poor'.

And so I did, finding my sign - the two calls intertwining in beauty.

And now I hear a different whisper: "Love. Always Love.", adding "See, they were all signs because I used it all to form who you are. Your story, already written, is being played out and, in it, I hope you see My love for You...and pass that Love to all the world."

                                                                                                                 - October 2013

One of my favorite things is to discover poems and prayers that I've written that I have long since forgotten about. This essay, titled "From the Book of Amanda", was one of them, written just ten months after entering Seminary. It was a homework assignment - "write a Scripture account of your call" for one of our classes on "calling".

It amazes me how much it all, especially the last paragraph, still sticks. Finding the Daughters wasn't the end of my call or the end of my story. My 2013 self knew that, even if I couldn't quite express it further. I had no idea that, in a few years, God would be leading me somewhere else.

Now, four years later, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that:
    All those paths have made me who I am.
    My story is still being played out.
    And my mission is still Love.

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