“It was not you who chose Me, but I who choose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” John 15:16
A few years ago a very active member of our parish told me that after her husband died she had sat in her house for weeks, grieving. Our pastor at the time caught wind and arrived unannounced at her house one day. “It’s time to come out of that house, Maria. There’s a lot of work to do here in the parish. We need you,” he said.
How many of us don’t hear our call, or listen when it is in plain view? It doesn’t matter what age we are or what that call is. We simply don’t listen because we don’t want to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and take risks. Some of us say we are willing to take risks but use the excuse that we don’t have a clue what direction to go. Nonsense. That’s the fear of making a mistake. Pray tell. Is there such a thing as a mistake if the choice is moral and a good? Then there are those of us who simply can’t get past the fear. If our mental, emotional, or situational state is involved– say we have a bipolar condition, are being abused, or are recently divorced– the stigma factor stops us in our tracks. In these cases it is definitely easier to lay low than to listen and heed the call to bear fruit.
That woman I spoke of earlier would have been very unhappy hiding in that house dwelling on what was and what could have been. She was very happy when I spoke to her. It was not easy for her to change. So don’t underestimate that. She had to put forth a lot of sustained physical and psychological effort. One thing is for sure. She did not do it alone. So if the rest of you out there notice someone who is “hiding,” reach out. Sometimes just a little push is all that is needed.
“Maria” is a fictitious name. Picture is property of the U.S. Federal government, public domain in the United States.