I face a difficult decision, whether I want to move to Mott Haven, an area of the South Bronx, with some Christians who appear to be very alive, very focused in their energy towards reforming the world in Christian love, or stay here, in an area that is comfortable, that is easier and more convenient, for many of my activities. I know exactly what I am called to do in my faith. The only caveats would be that I am not very much interested in having a windowless room, or a room that others are going to be walking through. The only way I could imagine it could work is if indeed my room was the living room area, and we created some kind of curtain or divider so that it was my private space.
Even doing this, I fear I'd be unhappy after a short time. I fear that I'd grow resentful and angry towards my roommates' intrusions, when I was trying to concentrate, or something like that. Then again, I also know that I get my energy from being around others, so perhaps there'd be a way to make that work.
I am honestly very divided on this; I would want to be able to make it last at least a while. And if it didn't, I guess I fear that I'd have to go somewhere that was even less appealing than what I have now.
Is there a way to be amongst these people more often without moving there for now? Hmm. Their Bible study times, and their prayer times in the early morning, are accessible if I want to do it-- I need some time to think it over.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The God who is before me, who looks at me, calls out to me. God raises me up, so that I can become truly myself, the one I am meant to be. ‘I have called you by your name, you are mine’ (Isaiah 47:1). Now, in that calling, there is also God’s challenge to me: the challenge to emerge from shadows and darkness, to enter more fully into truthfulness, and live in the light. The holiness and truth of the God of love challenges me in this way. The prophet Ezechiel realised this especially. At a time of destruction in Jerusalem and ensuing exile, Ezechiel was called to absorb the burning word of God, and speak to the devastated people, to raise them up, and bring them back to a renewed living of faith. He saw himself therefore as a sentry or watchman to the House of Israel (Ezechiel 3:17-21; 33: 7-9). And so it is today. We are called forth to live in the light, to abide by the truth – the light and truth of God. So whenever I hear someone calling out prophetically in this way, then their challenge is also a blessing for me. And in my own heart, in my prayer, the Lord who is present before me also calls me forth, to live with integrity, and truth, and love. Indeed, the whole course of my life, and the challenges facing me in it, might be summed up by those words inscribed on the memorial tablet of Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-90), ‘Ex umbris et imaginibus in Veritatem.’ - ‘Out of the shadows and images and into the Truth’.