Updated: Jul 31, 2020
I woke up this morning rejoicing in the fact that this day seemed to be all mine. My meeting got cancelled and I had a whole glorious 18 hours stretching ahead of me to do what I wanted. Wow, what first? Walk on the treadmill, get caught up in all the news on Facebook, do some cooking and cleaning I’ve been putting off?... The possibilities seemed endless in those waking moments. And then I made the “mistake” of picking up Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic The Call to Discipleship and all those “endless possibilities” grew wings and flew away. All that remained was this, these words you are reading at this moment.
Bonhoeffer’s really not for the faint of heart folks. If you know you’ve been avoiding your distinct call to be a true disciple of Christ, to obey Him fully and follow Him wholeheartedly, I suggest you give our German martyred brother a wide berth. Because if you don’t, and you dare to pick up this little classic tome and actually apply some thing you read in its pages, you might end up like me and get your day, or even your life for goodness’ sake, completely highjacked by the call of Jesus.
This isn’t really about giving you a book report or review, but here’s the gist of it that created such havoc with my morning: Bonhoeffer’s argument at its fullest force is that while it is true that “only those who believe, obey,” the converse is equally true that “only those who obey, believe.” And the crux of the problem in the Church today is that people are in a crisis of belief because they stopped obeying.
Oh, but no, no, Jesus doesn’t let me stop there. He doesn’t let me nod my head in theoretical, impersonal, armchair agreement. That pushing and prodding, gentle but insistent force, makes me extrapolate further. Not only is this the problem in the Church today at large, but maybe I am in a crisis of belief because I stopped obeying. Uh oh. Now I’m caught. Because if that is true then the only thing to do is be real with Christ, face where I have not obeyed, and start obeying now. Not in an hour, not tomorrow, not in a month when things are a “little less busy” (yes, Jesus, I’ll do what you’re asking, but let’s wait until after the holidays, shall we?), but now.
And that’s why you’re reading this today, because the step of obedience that I have been marvelously, ingeniously creative at ignoring is…to write! And the further (most) painful step of actually publishing what I write so you can read it! And it is painful you know. Moses’ internally assumed weakness was that he couldn’t speak, but I can speak anywhere, anytime, with barely a change of pulse. But you want me to write? Now I'm totally vulnerable. Because look at what I’ve done, I’ve told you way too much personal information at this point, and that’s seems to be what I do every single time I post something. Really, God? Is this what you’re after? My silly little words? My personal thoughts spilled out for everyone to see? This is the step of obedience you want me to take? If I pause I always hear the same answer. An unequivocal “yes.”
Long ago, when I was a young woman and a young believer, I asked the Lord what part I was to play in the Body of Christ. His answer didn’t fit any of the popular “ministry gifting” quizzes I had seen, but it made sense all the same. “You’re a signpost, meant to be read by everyone you meet, pointing the way to Me.” Somehow it’s the part about “being read” that is so striking to me today. So that’s what I’ve begun in posting this new blog site: here are my “signposts,” and if you can find meaning in them, if they point the way at a time you may need them, then I’ve done what I’m meant to do.