Where Jesus Might Need Us
Ann Barlow was an SCM member while at University. Now retired, she spent many years working in student support. She speaks to us about vocation being where Jesus might need us to be.
“There is something of a misconception that vocation in the Church involves, or should involve, becoming ordained or being in some kind licensed position. I’m not sure that’s right. The bottom line of vocation is following the call to follow Him; once he has that commitment, he can work through us in – sometimes in completely chance circumstances!
“I’ve been a Reader in the Church of England for over 20 years, but I sometimes say that my vocation has been more to talk to people on trains than it is to preach from the pulpit. I don’t drive, so I often find myself passing the time of day with a stranger on a train. More often than not, I find that we’re talking about church, faith and theology. It’s what I’m called to do at that moment in time.
“I think that responding to the call of Jesus, that is following our vocation, is a matter of becoming fully aware of where and how Jesus might need us so that He can work through us. It could be anywhere and in many different forms!
“He might well ask us to play a part in healing someone – this could happen through being there to listen and speak to friends and neighbours as much as by being a medical professional. He might ask us to speak out about unfairness or to uncover dishonesty, which can happen at any time and in any work place.
“Answering His call can seem scary. Will I say the right thing? Can I do this without being a trained theologian? Well, that’s where faith comes in. All it needs is for us to say, ‘If you really want me to do this Lord, help me out.’ And, guess what? I find He does.”