Moments of Crisis and Calling

Katie Myers, Lay Leader

About 5 years ago, I experienced a period of personal crisis—one of those ruptures that we all experience as we move through life. In that moment all of the things that were extraneous and even many of the things that were good and vital and that had absorbed my time and attention fell away. There was just no room in my self for anything more than the bare minimum.

Sue Monk Kidd in her book When the Heart Waits writes that the word crisis has its origins in two Greek words meaning “a separating.” “Our crises are times of severing from old ways and states of being,” she says. Yet she also goes on to write that the “Chinese character for crisis is composed of two words—on top is the sign for danger; beneath it is the sign for opportunity.”

As I started to emerge from the darkest part of my experience, I began to look around at the empty spaces, the margins that had opened up in my life and wonder what was I to do with myself now. There was suddenly space in my life for new things. There were myriad opportunities before me. And yet—somewhere within, a voice spoke with wisdom that was not my own—Wait.

Wait for what? I believe it was a summons to wait for the stirring of the Spirit, the movement of the breath of God across the waters of my soul.

What I discovered then, and continue to experience, is that time and again when I wonder what I am being called to next—where should my time and energy and love be directed—that the place to which I am called is the place where I am right at that very moment. That the action of God in my life leads me to discover that I am where I am supposed to be—that God’s calling unfolds before me in the midst of my circumstances—makes use of all that I am and have been—that all that has come before is mystically prelude and preparation for right now.
So what of this moment, these moments of crisis—personal and communal—that we find ourselves in now?

What are they a separating from? What does that separating make space for? What are we being summoned to? I don’t know exactly what God is calling you or me or Laurel Heights or our wider community to do or be next, but I believe that in this time of unknowing our task is to adopt a posture of expectant, watchful, passionate not passive waiting for the movement, the stirring of the Holy Spirit within. And I suspect there will come a moment, when we discover that we have been led exactly to the place where we need to be to answer God’s call. May it be so.