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Answering a call to ministry

Buechner on the subject of answering a call to ministry is so good, he’s poetic. “I hear you are entering the ministry,” the woman said down the long table, meaning no harm. “Was it your own idea or were you poorly advised?” And the answer that she could not have heard even if I had give…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Buechner on the
subject of answering a call to ministry is so good, he’s poetic.

“I hear you are entering the ministry,” the woman said down
the long table, meaning no harm. “Was it
your own idea or were you poorly advised?”

And the answer that she could not have heard even if I had given it was
that it was not an idea at all, neither my own nor anyone else’s.

It was a stirring in the blood at the sound
of rain. It was a sickening of the heart
at the sight of misery. It was a
clamoring of ghosts. It was a name
which, when I wrote it out in a dream, I knew was a name worth dying for even
if I was not brave enough to do the dying myself and could not even name the
name for sure. Come unto me, all ye who
labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you a high and driving peace. I will condemn you to death.

Comments (7)

  • It is what others have called the burden of the ministry. It is what we are called to be, called to do, called to invite others: even if our family is not as supportive as they should be, even if we can’t seem to make people we serve “happy,” (as if that was our mission).

    Good insight from Buechner. Thanks.

  • This is so true… so right on. It resonates with what Chambers says about a calling: if you can explain it, then you probably aren’t called!

  • Is it okay if you don’t know what you are called to do but feel like you’ve been called to do something? Because I’m not sure, which makes me wonder if I’m answering the call…

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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