(Why this title? – because I had no other in my mind, and titles is not my specialty)
I guess I have reached a record in unslept night of my lifetime. The tale total slept in hours in the last week was 6.4 or thereabout. I have most certainly entered an ASC, and experience most weird sensations. But this story is about something else.
It has become customary for me already to be woken up by the jay-bird’s cry. I wonder which is better: jay-bird’s cry or balck-bird cry or magenpies or crows chattering and waking one up. Or the cry of the black woodpecker or the Green woodpecker (I love the Latin for this un: Picus viridis namely)
The correct answer you may have guessed: all of these are bad.
In the First Book of Samuel, Samuel is born and comes of age. As a gift and as someone who would change the tides and times.
And in each reading, I am fascinated by the attitudes of God.
To choose his servants. To discard them. To … renew them if possible.
In chapter 3, the calling of Samuel happens. The interesting thing here is not the fact that Samuel is called in the darkness of night, but the fact that in this calling, also other people take part.
Eli the Priest (and a doomed priest, a discarded servant, I must note) is the experienced guide of the young boy to god. And there is that question: why would Eli do that? Knowing what he knew, that he would be cut away from his priesthood and his people, why help this boy who is the promised successor, to become a priest, someone who is to begin a generation of priests that never fail?
And I consider with certain admiration the honesty of this dismissed priest: and to some extent also, the courage to accept what has been sown way back, when he forgot to take care of his own family, putting all the effort in what could be remotely called as church-work.
Eli’s response to Samuel is cardinal in the process of vocation, even when and if none of the present people did not understand fully the intentions of the Caller.
Eli shared the experience of listening to God with Samuel. He also taught Samuel how to properly respond. Maybe this is one of the things that can be learned in questions of vocation and hearing: it is possible that the confirmation of the calling comes through another person, not necessarily the holiest that we see. And also: I as an individual, or better, a Christian individual, can and do become a voice and a confirmation of God’s calling for others, just like they become that for me.
And also: it is very important to be honest with God to the end, whatever bitter end that might be.
So, I will listen. To the woodpeckers and to the life round me.