By Sherry Kennedy Brownrigg
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
“Here I am,” I said; “send me!” ~ Isaiah 6:8
“Raging pagan” that’s the most accurate description I can give the younger me of my 20’s. I was all about fun and ran- not walked – to the next party, the next boyfriend, the next experience. Needless to say, this got me into a few scrapes, but I was having fun, and by golly! You don’t have a care in the world when you’re having so much fun.
What do You Want from Me?
After about five years of this behavior, I started to have a dream that came to me consistently, week after week, for months. I would be walking or driving someplace, and, out of nowhere, a 20-foot-tall Jesus would appear in front of me. His arms outstretched, looking intently at me. His eyes seemed to go right through my party girl exterior into my soul, and in my dream, I would invariably turn away out of shame and fear. I had always believed there was a God, but I hadn’t really allowed myself to know Him, but, especially in this reoccurring dream, I could feel Him calling me.
Eventually, I broke down and uttered the first prayer I had prayed in years. “God, what do you want from me?” It was clear what God wanted – me, but I wasn’t yet ready to give that. I would have to give up everything. Being holy just didn’t seem fun.
I had been raised Methodist, so I started going back to the Methodist Church. I could still go there and have tons of fun, and that might placate God, right? But His strong call continued. By this time, I had a new boyfriend who would eventually become my husband. We were getting serious and started talking about marriage. And then the experiences began.
The Weight of the World’s Sorrow
I would suddenly feel like the walls would disappear, and all I could see was blackness. The weight of the world’s sorrow would close in, and I could feel the pain of so many souls crying out in the blackness. It was crushing, and each time God would ask, “Will you help me reach My children?”
These experiences were incredibly powerful, but amazingly, I was still only ready to give God a little yes. Yes, I’ll come closer. Yes, I’ll follow you just a bit. It wasn’t until I entered the Catholic Church after getting married that I had an overnight conversion where I could finally give my full yes.
In today’s first reading, the words of the prophet Isaiah are stirring. He feels unworthy of serving God, but his experience of the seraphim touching his lips moves him to answer God’s question, “Whom shall I send?” with a resounding “Here I am! Send me!” I see myself in Isaiah’s vision and can finally answer as well. “Yes! I will help You reach Your children.”
Lord, what do I need to leave behind to drawer ever closer to you? Open my heart so I may see, and give you my yes!
Call to Action
Take some time today to pray about God’s call in your life and reaffirm your answer. “Here I am! Send me!”
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