Calling our name

Daily Reading for October 13

I am lying on my back. Maybe I am in a crib or a baby carriage, but I am not on someone’s lap. I am alone but I am not lonely. My eyes are following the yellow-green sparkles of light through a hazy screen. My arms are free and my hands reach to touch what my eyes can see and my heart can feel. I feel breath in me and in the trees and gently whirling between us.

Forty-five years later I ask my mother whether our house in Nashville, where I was born, had a porch. At first she says she can’t remember. “Tree tops,” I say, “where I might have been taking a nap in a baby carriage, looking through the screen at tree tops.” Still she remembers nothing. “Was there a street?” I press on. It feels important to me to remember. “A street. Yes, there was Meharry Boulevard. We lived in Mr. Price’s house, and oh, how he loved you. He’d come up the back steps and—oh yes, you were napping on the side porch.” But Mom is so anxious to tell me the rest that she doesn’t pause on the answer to my original question. “Mr. Price would bound up the porch steps, lift you up in the air and bellow out, ‘I love my little Charlie!’”

Yes. This is what I remember. Not Mr. Price. Not a person. But the feeling. I remember the feeling of being at peace, the feeling of the breath of God at once hidden deep within me and all around me, the feeling of being expectant, of being lifted up, of being safe and loved and adored in everlasting arms. It is a treasure that God hides inside of me and then sends me on a lifetime of seeking to find it. One day I will hear a call that draws me back to the place of this hidden treasure. And as it is revealed to me, I will hear the rejoicing: Somebody’s calling my name.

From A Gathering of Gifts by Paula Lawrence Wehmiller. Copyright © 2002. A Journey Book from Church Publishing. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY.

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