We have just witnessed a great miracle in Texas. Thousands and thousands and thousands of people were rescued by boat. And, not any boat, but boats captained by volunteers that came from all over because God Called them. Some came immediately and some waited a day or more but they came. Can you imagine a father/husband tell their wife he had to go and rescue people they did not know? These volunteers, men and women, were called by God in a special way. It was such a strong call that they left everyone they loved, left their jobs, and the security of home to rescue. They chose to respond to God's call. This call from God must have been so strong that they were almost driven to react. It was like the call of Jeremiah and Jesus to do what was right. Many family members and friends thought the task was too difficult and maybe thought they were crazy. Maybe the volunteers who were in their boats, canoes, and air boats, thought they were crazy as well when they had to walk in filthy water, filled with snakes and uncertainty. They continued on with lack of sleep, exhausted, because they know God was calling them to rescue. They wanted to save lives and to do what was right. They chose to respond to God's call.
What does a call from God look like and feel like? This differs from person to person. Sometimes it is an immediate response to do something right away. Perhaps pulling a child out of harms way when threatened. For others there is a nagging, a constant reminder from God of the necessity to do what is something. These accumulating messages can come from others or it is a constant voice in your head that can call you to action.
Jeremiah was called to speak out about the action of his people to change their ways and repent. Jeremiah fought against this call from God and lamented often that his people laughed at him. He often said that he had to respond to God's call because he could not help himself. It was burning within his heart; and he must speak.
There are some people who are called to speak aloud the truth when things need to be done. Jesus always spoke out for the marginalized, the poor, the disabled, the mentally ill. He not only spoke out, he call the chief priests and the Romans who were the oppressors. Jesus acted out in ways to help the oppressed because he chose to.
In our lives, I remember Dorothy Day running shelters of hospitality for the homeless and speaking out loud for changes to happening government and the church. Martin Luther King spoke out loudly but safely for an end to racism and segregation. He heard the word of God whisper and sometimes shouting at him to do what was right and to speak the truth.
What are we called to do? Do we have to do such dramatic things as the Jeremiah, Jesus and the boat people who rescued so many? All God asks of us is to be aware of the needs of others and to respond to those needs as God directs us to do. Perhaps God wants us to stay where we are and continue to do what we are doing. Perhaps God wants us to continue to listen more closely to messages God sends to us. Perhaps God wants us to continue to do what we are doing so we will be ready when a specific situation occurs.
Being aware of God's voice in our lives means praying for guidance, keeping ourselves healthy and alert, and doing what we believe is right. We do not have to go to tears to do the right thing.
God will inspire us to do what we can for people or our family. All we have to do is to prepare ourselves when we are asked and then have the courage to do what is right. Helping one person is the right thing to do if God asks – and we say Yes!