i sit listening intently as my small group leader passionately shares how she has been groomed...prepared....anointed... for ministry. she is reading that verse... the verse that Jesus, upon returning from the wilderness, read in the temple that day:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised......This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears...And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. Luke 4:17-21
she is declaring that it is this verse that the Lord used to speak to her when the time had come to reveal His purpose for her life.
i hear her saying that, as she read the verse before Him that day, He began to draw her back to the memories of when she, herself, was poor and brokenhearted...a captive who was bruised and blind...the days she had nothing to give and then, when she finally did and wanted to, no one wanted it...how it broke her heart and she and her husband wondered what they had done....were doing...wrong...arduous mountain climbing days.
i am thinking how, like Jesus, she had been led into the wilderness and sorely tested there...had learned to trust, to walk by faith in desert places. and having brought her through it, He had now called her to stand before others..before me... prepared, confident, knowing and known by Him....a trustworthy witness and faithful servant anointed to deliver truth to parched souls yearning to hear the Good News...that God alone is our provider, our protector, our promoter.
and i realize that He has brought her to "this day."
i sit frozen...mesmerized, for the first part of her story is my own story. she has lived my life. i find myself estimating the years between us. she in her sixties; i in my fifties. for a moment I forget that there is no magical equation that converts earthly years into spiritual years...but wishing it so,
i still count, blinking back scalding, desert tears...
aching for my own "this day" to arrive.
photo credit: blackred