August 20 | Called to Be A Blessing Stewardship Reflection
By Jane Burruss
The church of my childhood was loving and supportive in so many ways, but there were few discussions of ideas such as calling or living with intention. We truly were treated as blessings, yet rarely were shown directly how to pay it forward or be a blessing to others. Gratefully my parents modeled the being Christ’s “hands and feet” concept, and quietly, often anonymously, blessed those they could in many ways, and often told us that those who can do for others, should.
As I got older and traveled through many areas of the country, attending different mostly Episcopal churches, I learned big and little ways to be a blessing to others as I heard about whose we are [God’s] and about the call to model God’s love to those we encounter in life. In my forties, I encountered the concept that what I do with all that I am and have every day is my prayer back to God and that my choices are my gift to God, who hopes we will be a blessing to the people whose lives intersect with ours. Sometimes that call may be clear – like the call from God in a dream to go and do, or the prayer that is answered after asking what we are to do and we just know in our heart and head that answer. Once, after a prayer about “now what”, I received a phone call within minutes asking me to serve in a way that had not occurred to me, and for once I was smart enough to realize the “yes” I needed to say.
We often do not understand what the God wants as things are happening, or even for some time after. Joseph comes to understand in the Old Testament reading that he was called by God to be in Egypt, to be the blessing to not only the Egyptians but to his own family who needed him in ways they had not understood when they sold him into slavery. God can take our good intentions and use them, but even more importantly, God can use all that we do, even the ill-intended, despite our mixed intentions, for the nourishment of those we encounter.
The reading in Romans also takes this notion into account. The gifts and calling of God may be unseen, but are irrevocable. Thus, even if we know what our heart says, what God asks, but we ignore God, God still works with us. Even better outcomes come if we listen to the small voice calling us to be a blessing in our world and follow that call from God. Hopefully, we learn from the times when we were not following the call to be a blessing, and we learn to listen to the voice of God to become God’s presence in the world, to be Love, and to be a blessing for all with whom we share the journey. We learn to follow our call so that others too may be blessed.
What is your small voice – or the voice of God – calling you to do with all that you are and have? Are you called to be a blessing and how does that work? Do we Love God in a way that shows all God’s people including ourselves what that means? How will that move you to share your time, talent, and treasure with greater awareness of God?
Jane grew up an Episcopalian in Amarillo, went to The University in Austin, and became a bit of a gypsy, moving over 30 times since high school. Janey has lived on both coasts and in various midwestern states before finding her home in Dallas in 1997. She loves to travel, visiting all 50 states, all 7 continents, and over 100 countries. Having a varied career for 35 years, she now works for herself as a financial and legal advisor, lives alone with her 2 dogs, but also has 3 living siblings, lots of nieces, nephews, and an awesome village. She is grateful to have found Church of the Ascension in the summer of 2001 after a trek through a few other Dallas churches.