I haven’t posted anything in a while, but I have been working a lot. At this point in my journey, what do I consider my work to be? Praying, reading, talking, listening, and writing to and for others (including God) in such a way that is in keeping with what I feel my vocation to be, even though I don’t know what to call my vocation other than “praying, reading, talking, listening, and writing” attentively. Also fulfilling my commitments to my family, church, friends, and employer. Also drawing, because one ought to never forget her first love.
Many unformed thoughts have been working under my skin lately about what my vocation is (mind you, everyone has a vocation – it’s the sum of the particulars of what God desires you to do), and though I may not be able to define it even for myself, I thought it was time for me to make a presentation again of what I’ve got – so here it is – this drawing I made this morning.
When I asked my daughter who she thinks these people are, she said “Mother Theresa and a garden gnome.” Actually, this is a drawing of The Presentation, which is celebrated today, February 2. This is the day the church calendar sets aside to commemorate Jesus’ parents bringing him to the temple to offer him to God, and the joy of the old man and woman who had been waiting there for the Messiah.
I imagine that presenting what you’ve got is how you discover what it is, and also how you put together the particulars that form your vocation. I am forty-four, still working and waiting, and may never quite find who God made me to be. This old man and woman remind me that waiting long and working long is a blessing.
And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
“Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.