"I remember that day."
God looks at me, unsmiling yet neutral, waiting to hear.
"You called me. You called me out of my happy life that I was leading."
God nods slightly. Yes.
"It seemed impossible, then. Impossible, but inevitable. Almost like I didn't have a choice."
I did have a choice...
A call is not a demand. Never a demand. You have to want it as much as it wants you. I know that now.
"But I could never have imagined how hard it would be."
My eyes blur. I can't help it. Life intervened, for me. And yet, in a million different ways, life intervenes for everyone. No way is easy. The burden is light but the way is narrow.
God has dropped down, next to me, so close no one can tell where I end, where God begins. Which is fine. The boundary is only an illusion, after all.
I look up, unseeing, into Its Eyes.
(As if sight, fleeting, were so important.)
"It took a million years. 8, at least. A million years in that eight."
God is closer still, a quarter-inch shadow, if that, outside me.
We breathe together, remembering.
I stand up at my desk, pull on the robe, adjust the shoulder pads, run the lapel mike through the pocket, up the middle, across the zipper. Touch and grab the stole, the yoke. Look at the neck, a tag embroidered from ones I love, who love me, who embody Great Mystery. Bring it toward me and kiss it, my lips a prayer of thanksgiving, of gratitude, for this hard, painful, beautiful journey. This call.
As always, I whisper a thank you ...
Drape it over my shoulders, the weight heavy and substantial, desired, and chosen.
Down the steps we go.