February 18th, 2010

Light

"Here I am."

I've always loved how, particularly in the Old Testament, people respond to being called with, "Here I am" (or some equivalent thereof). Read it this morning in Genesis 37:13, but it's regularly peppered throughout the Bible. I don't want impart some deep and wildly inaccurate meaning to the phrase; quite the opposite—I love its simplicity.

"Here I am" means just what it says, which makes it sound strange and even quaint to my postmodern ears. I'm not in good practice of responding to God or anyone else so simply and clearly. I've usually got a string of responses and/or excuses coming to mind, seven trains of thought I'm trying to dispatch to and from the station of my head, so in the rare instances when I can hear a call at all, my inward and outward responses are a frenzied jumble.

And let's be honest: most of that noise and bluster is simply garbage. The truth is, much of the time I don't even know where I am, figuratively speaking (when that becomes literally true, I'm going to need to wear a tag of some sort so that someone can send me home). Maybe that's why I don't respond well or even hear being called so many times. So as I take stumbling steps toward greater discipline during Lent, I'm hoping that, at least each morning and evening, I can be still enough to say, "Here I am," to God and to the people in my life.

Ash Wednesday service last night was simple and beautiful. The ritual itself, the liturgy surrounding it, and Andy's meditation all spoke to me with God's gentle, truthful voice. I heard, I think, if even a little, and it makes me want to hear again. Hear I am.