Dear friends in Christ,
So often, it seems like social media is a wasteland. But then, every now and then, we catch a glimpse of something amazing. Just yesterday, my friend Fr. Robert Hendrickson tweeted an amazing image along with a brief story. Here’s the image and his story.
This chest was once an emperor’s and was used and owned by Napoleon III. It accompanied grand adventures and held the effects of an empire. It was built strong and fit for a king. Now it sits quietly, worn, aged, and aging still in a church hallway.
On it are placed bags of food for the hungry on some Sundays. On other mornings we find the left-behind effects of someone who has slept inside it through a cold desert night. It was built for a grand, noble, and life-saving purpose.
It has finally found that purpose, in this hallway, in this church in the desert—far from where it started yet finally home. What were you built for? Have you found it?
I’ve been to Fr. Hendrickson’s church, and I’ve walked past this very chest. It is impressive, but I had no idea about its background. And I was unaware of its use in this present day, acting as a kind of shelter to those who need it. Jesus has promised us in Matthew 25 that when we care for those at the margins, we are caring for Christ himself. In other words, the old chest made for an emperor is now a kind of tabernacle housing Christ. The old chest never had a higher purpose than at this very moment.
It’s a good parable, not just for objects but for people. Sometimes objects don’t find their highest purpose until they find a surprising use. So it is with people. God has made each one of us with particular gifts. It might take us a while to find our highest purpose, our true calling from God.
And sometimes, like that chest, it might look from the outside as if someone isn’t serving a noble purpose. But we often don’t see the purpose-filled deeds of others. High callings come in all shapes and sizes.
For our part, I hope we all ask ourselves—and ask God in our prayers—if we are following our highest calling, serving our noble purpose. And it might take us a circuitous route to get to that calling.
We can rest assured that God has given us a calling, if we can open our hearts to it. What were you made for?
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Photo: Saint Philip’s In The Hills
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