At Mass today, we heard that God sent Samuel to Jesse to anoint a king (1 Samuel 16) and that God selected the least likely of Jesse’s sons—David, the youngest son, the baby of the family, the son who was out in the field with the sheep. David, who probably went unnoticed by most of the people most of the time.
His brothers and maybe even Jesse were probably gob smacked. I can imagine them asking, “Why him?” I wonder if David asked, “Why me?” And I can imagine Samuel shrugging and saying, “Don’t ask me; I am just the messenger.”
This story reminded me of others God had chosen (Moses, Jeremiah, Jonah, etc.) who seemed equally unlikely representatives of God’s mission and message.
There is no explanation for God’s baffling choices.
Samuel seemed to be wise to God’s ways, though, and accepted that God had a plan, even though God’s choice might not have been Samuel’s.
Listening to this story and acknowledging that God often chooses the least likely candidate invites me to reflect on my own life and when I am the least likely person God would choose.
A few months ago, I was invited to participate in a nonprofit fundraising event. Turning Point is our local resource center for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault, and I have been a Survivor Speaker for them for the past three years.
I have spoken at their annual dinner, so I was familiar with the dance competition portion of the evening’s program when I accepted the invitation to learn a dance for this event. Our local Arthur Murray Dance Studio provides professional dancers who train non-dancers (me and four others) and then we perform our dance at the event.
Learning my dance is both exciting and a work in progress. Twice a week, I go to the Arthur Murray Dance Studio for lessons with my dance partner Jim (who has 30 years’ experience in ballroom dancing). I love to dance, but this dancing is a challenge–controlled steps/movements as opposed to my usual free-style dancing.
I am having fun with it, though, and the people at the studio are very welcoming, supportive and encouraging.
The biggest surprise for me in this process, though, has been the number of people who have shared their stories of domestic abuse or sexual assault when they hear what I am doing in support of Turning Point. One woman I have known for several years shared how Turning Point helped her when she was raped at fifteen—a story she had not previously shared with me.
Shining a light on the issues Turning Point addresses feels like something God has selected me to do, and I have come to see that bringing those issues into the light is so much more important than the light that will shine on Jim and me when we do our dance at the event.
I am still nervous about the dance, though, but trying to keep perspective.