Was anyone else knocked out as I was by today’s Reflection in Give Us This Day?
Jesus. Lamb. Rabbi. Teacher. Messiah. Christ. Names for One who walks right by you, obscured, perhaps, by the verbiage of ages and by your own tired expectations. Take a second look, a new look altogether, and see who looks for you.
You seek because you are sought, and caught. You have been found, and lovingly found-out. The desire and discipline, the curiosity and perseverance that bring you to this moment in a newly dawning year are your response to the One who wants you, who teaches you, questions and pursues you, who urges you to behold and perceive: the very object of your longing passes by.
Will you be bypassed? Will all the old familiar names for the inviting One of God—however reverent—keep you from hearing your own new name when it’s called?
You are called like Simon to leave aside your plans and go when summoned, to be beheld and known by God’s own, and be renamed.
You do have a choice. You can retreat, take comfort in the familiar, and risk missing your calling. Or you can set out, take on the discomforts of the strange and the stranger, and live into, live up to, your new identity.
Who will you be this day, this year? Who will lead you?
Answer by beholding. Perceive in a passerby your seeker, your teacher. Look into a life you might otherwise overlook, and let yourself be beheld. Is not this unfamiliar gaze—fearless, mutual, and clear—a revelation? Is not this new name your name?
Rachel M. Srubas, a Presbyterian clergywoman and Benedictine Oblate, is the author of two books and numerous articles on the spiritual life.