Sunday, June 25, 2023

Spiritual Quote of the Day (1 Samuel, on How God Made Himself Known to the Prophet)

“At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet. The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to [the priest] Eli, he said, ‘Here I am.  You called me.’ Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, ‘Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’ Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’ Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.” — 1 Samuel 3:8-10, 19 (New American Bible)

Like so many of the stories in the Bible, this one exerts a mysterious but powerful hold on my imagination. Like Samuel, many of us, for the longest time, go through life unsure when and how we are being called by God, and for what purpose. But the task remains for us to remain open to His call—to let God know that we are listening.

It is Samuel’s marvelous power that God would not “any word of his…be without effect.” That is the gift all writers wish for, in their way.

The image accompanying this post, “Samuel Mistakes God's Call” (depicting Samuel approaching Eli), was created by the great Pennsylvania painter and illustrator N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945)—not only an extraordinarily vivid artist himself, but also father and grandfather of others with similar gifts: Andrew and Jamie, respectively.

No comments: