Guest Columnists

Here I Am Lord, But It Is Not I

(Photo: Catholic News Service/Enrique de la Osa, Reuters)

PEERING OUTSIDE THE window from an airplane thousands of feet in the air, I had no idea that what I saw in front of me would make Scripture come to life.

But it did.

Do you remember in grade school, during the beginning of class, when your teacher would take attendance by calling your name to see if you were there?  “Present” or “Here” would indicate your presence and the absence of your voice would indicate that you’re absent.

That moment on the plane recalled this theme throughout Scripture where God seems to take attendance – call a name and see if that person is willing and able to be sent forth on the mission that would fulfill a pivotal moment in history.

In the Old Testament, when God called young Samuel and Samuel replied “Here I am. Speak for your servant is listening.”

Or when Jesus saw the disciple Matthew and told him “Follow me” and he got up and followed Jesus.

In Job, Chapter 38, it was a peculiar conversation between the Lord and Job, where the Lord was addressing Job out of the storm that Job was in.

“Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning and shown the dawn its place. For taking hold of the ends of the earth, till the wicked are shaken from its surface?

“Tell me, if you know all: which is the way to the dwelling place of light and where is the abode of darkness, that you may take them to their boundaries and set them on their homeward paths?”

The Lord goes on and on basically explaining the magnificence and incontestable significance of who He is – the Alpha, the Omega, in which He is God and we are not.

Job replies to the Lord with this: “Behold, I am of little account, what can I answer you?”

That response symbolized Job acknowledging to the Lord that he was present, but in no way could Job amount to who God is. Job is essentially someone who doesn’t command the morning or show the dawn in its place.

Job isn’t taking holds of the ends of the earth till the wicked are shaken from its surface. Job doesn’t know the way to the dwelling place of light or where is the abode of darkness.

It was that revelation that made the visuals outside the window plane the perfect textbook answer to Scripture. It spoke to me because in that moment, I was like Job and as I looked out at God’s creation, I was humbled and I responded to God taking my attendance.

Lord, it is not I who created those flurries of cumulus clouds spattered across the vast skies like rows of white cotton candy.

Lord, it is not I who created those hills and valleys below the skies. Lord it is not I who holds the world in the palm of my hands, or who keeps the atoms in place that exist in such beauty not only in nature but in human beings themselves.

If it wasn’t for you Lord, these atoms, which exist within every human body that you envisioned thousands of years ago, would not hold into place.

If it wasn’t for You needing me to exist, I would disappear, I would be absent.

Yet, here I am, sitting in awe and wonder of something I cannot fathom, something so grandeur yet so mysterious.

Here, I am Lord, but it is not I.

Enaje is a reporter and youth editor for The Tablet newspaper. She is also a member of both the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

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