From a message on Sunday, reflecting on Samuel and his first call to be a prophet.
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 1 Samuel 3
Often, we are called to say difficult things in difficult situations.
When I say that, you may fill words in, words about scolding, about misbehavior. But the truth is that the truth we are called to speak is often not scolding. In the story we read Sunday, Jesus was getting scolded for speaking words of healing, of compassion, of love. Often, we are called to be loving of people who, as Bob Goff says, “are creepy.” We are called to love the people who don’t love us, who don’t look like us, who can’t do anything for us. We are invited by God to stand at the edge of the circle that is around the cool kids and talk with the people who aren’t cool, who are in pain, who are alone.
Samuel gave Eli God’s hard news because Eli hadn’t been paying attention. But Samuel also had encouraging conversations with people, speaking peace and hope and love and healing. Because those are the things that God speaks, too. . .
Next time, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the crowd, in the middle of your uncertainty, in the middle of your questions, stop. And if you think you hear someone speaking your name, say what Samuel said. “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Like Samuel, you’ll discover that God is with you. Like Samuel, you might hear words from God.