The Story of Susanna and the Elders has many angles to it which are still relevant today. A person’s chastity and beauty become not revered or admired for what it is, but rather turned to into a commodity; where she is offered the options of disgracing herself by giving herself to these two lechers, or being condemned by their lies.
She choses truth, even though she knows there is no way out, at least that she can see. How often we feel the same, where truth is the least convenient path, often the one which only seems to lead to short term pain and suffering.
However, she takes the high road and is saved.
Painting by Franz Xavier Winterhalter
At times we appear to hear the voice of God. Often through others, this can come in many forms. A subtle prompting, a more severe nudge, even a loud call to action. However, we are not always as attentive as we might be.
For myself, I often find others can be better at observing my call than I do so myself. This is one reason I find myself using a Spiritual Director to help me on my journey. Such a director helped me recently with a situation which, as it turned out, surfaced something I was not doing which I should have been doing for years. However, I digress.
I was recently confronted with the situation of a person seeking Spiritual Direction in their life and agreed to meet. A young, unmarried, on-fire Catholic woman who was very frustrated in her search for the mission in her life. She is very successful, dedicated, a hard worker, talented in the workplace as well as very committed to social justice. The sort of person you meet once and remember their passion for the Lord.
This young woman was looking for a place where her powerful faith could be married with her skills in conflict resolution. She had been bouncing from different career options, trying to find a good place to land. She was asking for advice on how she could find someone to follow who would lead and mentor her.
After listening and exchanging information about her faith, career, family and desires it was very obvious to me this young woman was a born leader and did not need to be seeking others to follow, those who did not have her passion, energy and calling to a social justice ministry. It was herself who was being called.
When we started to talk about the leadership and love inside of her, the internal flame of Christ and the Holy Spirit, it suddenly became obvious to her she was being called to make the change for herself, not wait for someone else to invite her. She already had the greatest invitation present in her soul, all that was needed was prompting to release it. To get out of the boat and trust that God will lead her whenever that might be.
How often have I heard such a call myself and been unresponsive? I do believe, I have somewhat improved in responding to such requests in recent years, but it has taken me a long time.
Perhaps this week, I should ask myself again; am I responding to God’s call? Can I do more? Can I lead and not just follow?
Where can I find them?
Those whom I can follow.
Those whom I will love.
The one who will be my lifetime love?
Searching in the google of my mind builds billions of options,
But I cannot boil the ocean;
Or find the perfect leader.
But now, let me rest a while.
And snuggle up to you, my God,
Like the child I was,
Safe and sound. (Pause for a few moments)
I see now I do not need to find others to follow.
And discover I am the leader for your message,
Which you will reveal,
Once I start out,
And leave this place of compromise.
To do the work you want of me;
Trusting others will follow.
For I am your leader,
Your complete companion.
And will go into the divine darkness;
Holding your hand.
To do your Will.