to write. I hate to write. I must write.
I refuse to write.
A prophet? Are you kidding me? Thirty years ago I would have been right there with you. Believe me, prophet is the last word I would ever used to describe myself. Prophets are special. I am not. They have a direct line to God and the go-ahead and where-with-all to do all kinds of miraculous things. I do not. They proclaim doom and rail at the people for being idiots. Well, sometimes. Occasionally they foretell the future. The most I can claim is feeling an impending sense of doom. They are righteous to the extreme and above the fray and trials of this messy business we call life. Not me. Not in any lifetime. Not on any planet.
Boy, was I wrong. In seminary I learned just how wrong I was. Actually, prophets are wonderfully flawed and messy people. Just like me. People often thought they were crazy. True here. I got to know the prophets as chums who spoke passionately and acted hyperbolically. I identified. I am not above the messiness of life but I am neither a soothsayer who predicts the future nor a miracle worker. I not particularly righteous, though I have been known to be self-righteous. To be honest I am a flock of flaws, surrounded by a majesty of misunderstandings, hobbled together by an impediment of imperfections. I am not special in any way to anyone except, maybe, to my mom and dad and daughter. I don’t have a direct line to God and when the party line is open I often don’t hear – or more truthfully, don’t listen – to what God is saying. I am strong willed and sometimes lazy. I get stuff wrong. A lot.
But I am in good company. The thing about prophets is that when God calls they head the other way. Take Jonah. They are all reluctant. ‘God, you’re knocking on the wrong door.’ Moses told God ‘let someone else do it, maybe my brother Aaron. He is a much better choice and have you forgotten? I stutter’. Jeremiah came right out and said, ‘I don’t want to. People make fun of me and don’t invite me to their parties. They think I’m crazy… but (damn it) it’ like there is a fire inside me and I can’t shut up’. Or, like me. ‘I’m busy and there are lots of other things I want to do and experience and besides, I’m mad at the church over the Viet Nam War, civil rights and the women’s movement. I want to act and write and have sex. You’ve really got this one wrong, God.’more >>