Power and Inadequacy of a Calling


This past month, like many of you, I’ve been mourning the loss of lives in Gaza and Israel. My heart aches for peace there, just as it does for Ukraine, the Uyghurs in China, civil conflicts in Central Africa, and other troubled places around the world. I also yearn for us to truly live up to the high values we claim to hold dear here in our own nation.

This sorrow has sparked some deep thinking about my own calling.

I’ve been tackling what I’ve come to call exclusive in-grouping, dehumanization, and the violence they bring about since 2015. I’m driven to fight these issues here in Washington State and across the United States. This isn’t just a job for me—it’s a deep-seated calling. I can feel its weight, its burning passion, and the soul-lifting hope it brings me.

Our calling, whether we believe in a Creator or not, seems to come from somewhere beyond us, yet it’s also a deep expression of who we are. It pushes us to share our gifts with the world, valuing and working with others who answer different calls.

All callings have their limits. No one calling can meet all the world’s needs.

Yesterday, I chatted with a Latina leader and shared that living out our callings brings both strength and potential, as well as a recognition of our own limits. The world has vast needs, and our abilities to make things better are essential, yet they can feel so small. Sharing this brought tears to both our eyes. She feels the same way every day.

It was comforting to voice these feelings together.

I see divisions growing ever stronger in our nation and the world. I worry that our eagerness to assert our values can sometimes dehumanize those who disagree or see greater or other complexities in the issues we face. Even if it doesn’t lead to violence directly from us, our words might push those less stable toward it.

So, we circle back to our calling. I have faith that there’s a Divine presence sparking our personal callings and knitting them into something bigger. It’s tough to hold on to this belief in moments like these, but I do. I hold on to it all the same. Or perhaps it holds me.

Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash

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