January 13, 2020
By Pr. Cathy Daharsh
I used to be really good at remembering people I'd met before. There was a time when I could brag about never forgetting a face. But as time has gone by, and with having facemasks on during the pandemic, it has gotten a bit challenging.
As many of you know, my first career was an elementary teacher. When I get a chance to visit family in Sheboygan, which has not been for a long time, on occasion I bump into students that I taught in the past. They quickly recognize me. Ha-ha, I guess I have aged well. But it is challenging for me to remember their names because they have grown-up and look different as adults. If I concentrate and listen to how they speak and what they say I can usually come up with their names.
Of course, the better I know someone, the more able I am to recognize them. And once I've actually worked with someone or gotten to know them through their stories, I easily remember their names - most of the time!
In the Old Testament reading from 1 Samuel, God calls Samuel, a little boy and he has no idea what was happening. When Samuel heard his name called in the middle of the night waking him from sleep, he thought it was his master Eli who was calling him. But it wasn’t and it happens a few more times after Eli tells Samuel that it wasn’t him and sends him back to bed.
When Samuel ran to Eli a third time with the same story, Eli began to realize that something strange was happening and told Samuel to say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
It may be that God is speaking to all of us all the time, but that few of us are able to hear God's voice and that those who do hear fail to recognize it as God. God could speak to us through many different means, for instance, through nature, through art, through science, through books, through worship, through the Bible. God could also speak to us through dreams, through insights, through coincidences, through friends.
It is in times such as these that we are in need of hearing and recognizing God in our lives. The more you get to know someone, the easier it is to remember who they are and to recognize them. Once you begin to get to know God and intentionally take time to know God’s story, you'll find that you're increasingly able to identify God.
Our star word for this week is Radiate. My prayer for you today is that you are able to recognize God’s light radiating in your life to bring you moments of energy, hope, and warmth during your week. Amen.