Listen and Act

In the year that the commander-in-chief, who was sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and took it - at that time the Lord had spoken to Isaiah son of Amoz, saying, "Go, and loose the sackcloth from your loins and take your sandals off your feet," and he had done so, walking naked and barefoot. Then the Lord said, "Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians as exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. And they shall be dismayed and confounded because of Ethiopia their hope and of Egypt their boast. In that day the inhabitants of this coastland will say, 'See, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape? Isaiah 20: 1-6 (NRSV)

In today's reading, God tells the prophet Isaiah to remove his clothes and his sandals and walk around naked for three years. It was a drastic and visual message to Israel of the shame they would experience if they didn't listen to God's direction. Isaiah listened to God and took action.

While usually not as dramatic, the Lord continues to speak today, and when W. Terry Whalin, from Colorado, hears God's call he tries to take action. Early in the morning as he begins his workday, he often takes a few moments to think about his friends and colleagues. Do I need to reach out to someone today with a phone call or an email? God's still, small voice often brings to his mind neighbors or co-workers or relatives. Sometimes the person is surprising - someone he has not connected with in months.

He makes a list of the people who come to mind and reaches out to them during the day. He writes a short email to some people. He calls others and speaks with them for a few minutes or leaves them a personal message. Often when he speaks with someone, they will tell him, "I was just thinking about you today. I'm so glad you called." When this happens W. Terry smiles and is assured that he is following the directions of a loving God.

Prayer: Loving God, help me to listen to your still, small voice and to obey your leading, in Jesus' name, amen.

Smile and say "Hi!" to someone today.

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