Called to Say Yes

Janice Andersen (Director of Christian Life at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis) and I co-presented a retreat this morning for volunteers and friends of City House.  Our theme was Called to Say Yes: Helping the Kingdom Break Through.  As the title suggests, our focus for the day was on each of our parts in building God’s Kingdom, including reflecting on what that “yes” looks like for each of us given the needs of our world today.  It was a rich morning of talks by Janice and I, individual reflection, and sharing.

The inspiration for the title was a poem of Edwina Gateley’s titlled Called to Say Yes.  It is one that touched both Janice and I, and so I share it for your reflection.

We are called to say yes.
That the kingdom might break through
To renew and to transform
Our dark and groping world.

We stutter and we stammer
To the lone God who calls
And pleads a New Jerusalem
In the bloodied Sinai Straights.

We are called to say yes
That honeysuckle may twine
And twist its smelling leaves
Over the graves of nuclear arms.

We are called to say yes
That children might play
On the soil of Vietnam where the tanks
Belched blood and death.

We are called to say yes
That black may sing with white
And pledge peace and healing
For the hatred of the past.

We are called to say yes
So that nations might gather
And dance one great movement
For the joy of humankind.

We are called to say yes
So that rich and poor embrace
And become equal in their poverty
Through the silent tears that fall.

We are called to say yes
That the whisper of our God
Might be heard through our sirens
And the screams of our bombs.

We are called to say yes
To a God who still holds fast
To the vision of the Kingdom
For a trembling world of pain.

We are called to say yes
To this God who reaches out
And asks us to share
His crazy dream of love.

(From Edwina Gateley, There Was No Path So I Trod One)