When I was sixteen years old, I asked a girl out for the very first time. I didn’t ask her friends if it would be cool ahead of time. I didn’t make sure she was open to it. I just went for it.
She said, “Maybe.” Not a good sign. That maybe turned into a “no” the next day.
I was rejected. To be honest, I wasn’t that upset. Mostly I was just proud of myself for having the courage to ask. Have you ever been rejected?
In the readings this Sunday, we are going to hear about two people who have been mostly rejected by their families, cultures, or communities (find the readings here). In the first reading, Samuel goes out looking for Israel’s next king. When he comes to Jesse’s house, Samuel thinks he’s found the guy in Eliab, but he’s not the guy. Samuel goes through all of Jesse’s sons and doesn’t find the chosen one. Finally he asks if Jesse has any more sons and that is when David, the youngest, the one sent out to do the worst and grossest job-shepherding, comes and is chosen.
In the gospel, Jesus heals a man born blind. This man is reject by his culture because they believe his blindness is punishment for his or his parent’s sin. They see his affliction as a sign of God’s rejection. In actuality it is that affliction that is the reason he is chosen by Jesus for a sign of God’s desire to heal and restore humanity.
In both cases, God choses the rejected. In the first reading we hear, “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” These are two examples of times that God choses someone that maybe we wouldn’t have chosen for that task.
I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t chose the qualified; he qualifies the chosen.
David wasn’t ready to be king immediately after his anointing, but it is through his time as a shepherd that he is being prepared to shepherd the people of Israel. The man born blind doesn’t know who Jesus is, but he know that Jesus healed him. His witness is simple, but powerful.
Could it be that God is choosing you for some task? Maybe you feel like the last person God could use to demonstrate his love. Perfect, that’s just how he likes them.
Take out your phone and open up the calendar app. Make a daily, repeating reminder to say the following short prayer each morning, “Dear God, whatever way you choose to use me today, I say yes.” Then pray that prayer everyday for 7 days.