Many of us are naturally shy. It isn’t that we mind being with people, we enjoy it. However the catch comes with new people. Being dumped in the middle of a crowd with an assignment to introduce one’s self to everyone in the room is our idea of being placed in Hell. Spending time with others is great; as long as “they” are people we know. Otherwise the process is painful, energy draining, and in many ways very depressing.
In contrast being with friends is restores one’s energy, confidence, and hope. The process is magical! The sense of community, belonging, and being a part of something greater than one’s self is an invitation no one would refuse once experienced. Yet the invitation is rarely accepted without fear and trembling (at least metaphorically). It is hard to know if one can trust the invitation. The initial moments are filled with uncertainty – is the invitation real? Will I integrate with others or will our meeting be filled in uncomfortable silence, critical evaluation, and judgment? Am I really invited?
The latter question permeates life far more than we admit. Do those we hold close to our hearts hold us the same way? Do our parents really love us? Is God serious about being in relationship?
The God I know is serious about being in relationship with you and me. The process is both seen and unseen, known and unknown, the same across the generations. If we could see the process would unfold much as it did for Isaiah. His record reflects the invitation made to you and me.
“Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said,
‘Look. This coal has touched your lips. Gone your guilt, your sins wiped out.’
And then I heard the voice of the Master: ‘Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?’
I spoke up, ‘I'll go. Send me!’” (Isaiah 6.6-8)
My prayer is that our answer is the same.
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