Wednesday, June 3, 2009

God's calling is not rocket science...

Over the past year my mind has literally been BUZZING with confusion and frustration with the question, "What is my calling?" Through that, I have found a hard road of silence from God, that has road me down another hard road of trying to figure out who I was really trying to serve, where my heart is, and how to hear the voice of God. One word has been striking out to me, and that is "obedience". Yesterday at small group, there was a story shared that I would love to pass on, but before I do, a little prologue :). This excerpt is from a book by Brennan Manning. It has really blessed me in realizing that there is one primary call for my life - to "seek first His kingdom and righteousness" and to "remain in Him, and He will remain in me". I was at first VERY frustrated with the idea that there may not be one, main call, or even anything extraordinary to the world (I have always wanted to be a person to change the world). But He DOES have a plan, He IS sovereign, and He will guide me to where He wants me to be as I seek Him. I am not living for my own kingdom and glory, and my life is not meant to have a final project "done" at the end of my life that is astounding for the world to see - I just want to live for the eyes of God. It is meant to shine the light and love of my Father, to spread the gospel, share the good news, and live a life that is glorious to His name. THAT, in and of itself is beautiful - a miraculous gift. I am sent to show His love not only for me, His desire for not only me to be blessed, but the blessing of His PEOPLE. His children. All of them. I could say so much more, but I pray that this story speaks to me as it speaks to you. A story of a man that at the time and to the eye did not seem to "change the world". But He did. He changed those around Him because of His obedience to Christ and His calling to live for Him and share the story of His grace, faithfulness, and love to the world.


“Dominique Voillaume has influenced my life as few people ever have. One New Year's morning in Saint-Remy, France, seven of us in the community of the Little Brothers of Jesus were seated at a table in an old stone house. We were living an uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor, with the days devoted to manual labor and the nights wrapped in silence and prayer.

The breakfast table talk grew animated when our discussion turned to our daily employment. A German brother remarked that our wages were substandard (sixty cents per hour). I commented that our employers never were seen in the parish church on Sunday morning. A French brother suggested that this showed hypocrisy A Spanish brother said they were rude and greedy The tone grew more caustic and the salvos got heavier. We concluded that our avaricious bosses were nasty self-centered cretins who slept all day Sunday and never once lifted their minds and hearts in thanksgiving to God.

Dominique sat at the end of the table. Throughout our harangue he never opened his mouth. I glanced down the table and saw tears rolling down his cheeks. "What's the matter, Dominique?" I asked. His voice was barely audible.

All he said was, "Its ne comprennent pas." They don't understand! How many times since that New Year's morning has that single sentence of his turned resentment of mine into compassion? How often have I reread the passion story of Jesus in the Gospels through the eyes of Dominique Voillaume, seen Jesus in the throes of his death agony beaten and bullied, scourged and spat upon, saying, "Father, forgive them, its ne comprennent pas."

The following year, Dominique, a lean, muscular six feet, two inches, always wearing a navy blue beret, learned at age fifty-four that he was dying of inoperable cancer. With the community's permission he moved to a poor neighborhood in Paris and took a job as night watchman at a factory. Returning home every morning at 8:oo A.M. he would go directly to a little park across the street from where he lived and sit down on a wooden bench. Hanging around the park were marginal people-drifters, winos, "has-beens," dirty old men who ogled the girls passing by.

Dominique never criticized, scolded, or reprimanded them. He laughed, told stories, shared his candy and accepted them just as they were. From living so long out of the inner sanctuary he gave off a peace, a serene sense of self-possession and a hospitality of heart that caused cynical young men and defeated old men to gravitate toward him like bacon toward eggs. His simple witness lay in accepting others as they were without questions and allowing them to make themselves at home in his heart.

Dominique was the most nonjudgmental person I have ever known. He loved with the heart of Jesus Christ. One day when the ragtag group of rejects asked him to talk about himself, Dominique gave them a thumbnail description of his life. Then he told them with quiet conviction that God loved them tenderly and stubbornly that Jesus had come for rejects and outcasts just like themselves.

His witness was credible because the Word was enfleshed on his bones. Later one old-timer said, "The dirty jokes, vulgar language, and leering at girls just stopped."

One morning Dominique failed to appear on his park bench. The men grew concerned. A few hours later, he was found dead on the floor of his cold-water flat. He died in the obscurity of a Parisian slum.

Dominique Voillaume never tried to impress anybody, never wondered if his life was useful or his witness meaningful. He never felt he had to do something great for God. He did keep a journal. It was found shortly after his death in the drawer of the nightstand by his bed. His last entry is one of the most astonishing things I have ever read: ‘All that is not the love of God has no meaning for me. I can truthfully say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and witness. If he wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is his concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that.’

In Dominique Voillaume I saw the reality of a life lived entirely for God and for others. After an all-night prayer vigil by his friends, he was buried in an unadorned pine box in the backyard of the Little Brothers' house in Saint-Remy. A simple wooden cross over his grave with the inscription: ‘Dominique Voillaume, a witness to Jesus Christ" said it all. More than seven thousand people gathered from all over Europe to attend his funeral.’"

Brennan Manning in the Signature of Jesus, pages97-99

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me." ~John 15:4


  1. Good words to ponder, Meggie. You and I may be walking two very different paths in the natural right now, but some of our processings are so similar! love ya ~ Brandy

  2. That gave me a lot to think about Meggie. Thank you for sharing.