The Call

Author: Carolyn Gard

Two weeks ago, we remembered the assassination of President Kennedy. Like many people my age, I remember where I was when I heard the news (teaching first grade) and the next few days being tied to the television. There are many images that I remember clearly, but one that stands out is that of Lyndon Johnson taking the oath of office on Air Force One. He’s flanked by his wife and Jackie Kennedy as they all face the judge.

I got to wondering about the judge, Sarah Hughes. She’s sitting at home when the Secret Service calls telling her to get out to Love Field to administer the oath of office. I imagine her wondering where she can find the oath of office. Is there a Bible on the plane? Does she know where to pause in the oath to let Johnson repeat it? And, as she gets out of the car, does she wonder, “Does my hair look all right?” She made it through the historic moment, having answered the call and never hesitating to do what she had been asked to do, however unusual it was.


And so today we may be called by God to do something, not just to love our neighbors, but maybe to do something unusual. Unfortunately, we often aren’t as quick to answer that call as Sarah Hughes was. So many thoughts run through our minds: “Why me?” “I’m too busy.” “I’m not capable.” “I have family to look after.” “Ask me next year.” But it doesn’t work that way with God’s call. If we refuse, it will keep us awake at night. But if we accept it, we may be transported to a pinnacle that we never thought could exist.


I tell myself that I’m ready to answer God’s call, that I’m open to whatever might be put in my path, even if I have to climb a mountain. I hope I will recognize it when I hear it, and that I won’t find excuses. As unusual as it may seem, I hope I won’t question it. I might, however, ask just the question: “Does my hair look all right?”

God, give us the courage to answer your call, knowing that you haven’t chosen us at random.


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