rembrandt, van gogh, and me.
“look at rembrandt and van gogh. they trusted their vocations and did not allow anyone to lead them astray. with true dutch stubborness, they followed their vocations from the moment they recognized them. they didn’t bend over backward to please their friends or their enemies. both ended their lives in poverty, but both left humanity with gifts that could heal the minds and hearts of many generations of people. think of these two men and trust that you too have a unique vocation that is worth claiming and living out faithfully”.
Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love
i think my vocation includes a pursuit of meaning, beauty, expression, and true company that looks a little out of control. it is daily, sometimes hourly. it is passionate. it interrupts my chores. i often try to tame my “vocation” for the sake of those around me, lest i look desperate and wild, becoming too much for them. but Nouwen inspres me to be me. to think. to reach out. to be inspired and then talk loudly, quickly, and with wild hand motions in public. to write….and write and write. to write for me and not for you. to not be tame (like spacing my posts so not to bombard your inbox :). and all in the middle of the day.
i think Jesus made me this way so i am learning to trust it – to lean into it and think it beautiful – to not hide in dark corners until appropriate moments like bible study or sunday morning church. and what is more, to believe that this part of me is not just good for me, but for others too. this may cause some to fall off, which i accept. but if you are in your work cubicle, waiting for your little child to be done in the bathroom, driving your truck, emptying your diswasher – and are at all excited about “claiming your vocation” and not editing it to please others, let’s be abandoned together. and by all means, tell me who it is you are made to be.