On Monday, January 11, 1999 I was a single parent of an 18-month old.  I worked full time as a supervisor of six home visitors for a program in Alexandria called Healthy Families.  Our goal was to prevent child abuse and neglect by doing home visits with individuals or families during pregnancy and staying with them until their child entered kindergarten.  The 125-140 families we visited were considered to be at very high-risk for abusing and neglecting their children.  It was an intense, but very rewarding job. I loved the work, I loved being a parent, but I was often exhausted with a toddler at home who rarely slept. I had so little time left over for anything other than eating and sleeping.

On that day I went to the library during my lunch break to check out some new books to read to her that night.  Often the work with other people’s children caused me to have the “ache of love” for my own child. I missed her when I was at work and then sometimes when I was with her my mind would drift to a family we were working with. At that time, I also recall having the “ache of love” for God, with little or no time to pray or sometimes even to go to church. 

I noticed the “Religion” section of the library after finding my stack of children’s books and I remember looking at my watch and thinking, I’ve got a few minutes.  In perusing the books, I saw the words “God Calling” on the spine of a slender volume.  Without even opening it I checked it out, thinking I could use God calling me about now.  I read the entry for January 11 that night, and I remember feeling understood and closer to God than I had in a while. Each day the entries were a source of support and guidance that felt like a lifeline.

Written by two women beginning in 1939, completed over a year later, and published in 1953, the writers remain anonymous to this day.  The two friends met daily and the book God Calling was the result of their dedicated and inspired prayer time.  This has been my daily devotional now for 16 years, and each time I read the entries they speak to me anew. 

January 11, 1940

Cry unto Me, and I will hear you and bless you. Use my unlimited stores for your needs and those of others.  Seek My wonderful truths and you shall find.

There may come times when you sit in silence, when it seems as if you were left alone.  Then, I command---command -- you to remember I have spoken to you, as I spoke at Emmaus. But there was a time in the Upper Room, after My Ascension, when My disciples had to comfort themselves by saying, “Did he not speak to us by the way?”

You will have the consciousness of My Presence when you hear no voice.  Abide in that Presence. “I am the light of the world,” but sometimes in tender pity, I withhold too glaring a light, lest, in its dazzling brightness, you should miss your daily path and work. Not until Heaven is reached, do souls sit and drink in the ecstasy of God’s revelation to His Own.  At the moment you are pilgrims and need only your daily marching orders, and strength and guidance for the day.

Oh! Listen to My Voice, eagerly, joyfully.  Never crowd it out.  I have no rival claimants and if men seek the babble of the world, then I withdraw. Life has hurt you.  Only scarred lives can really save.

You cannot escape the discipline.  It is the hallmark of discipleship.  My children, trust Me always.  Never rebel.

The trust given to Me to-day, takes away the ache of rejection of My love, that I suffered on earth, and have suffered through the ages.  “I died for you, My children, and could ye treat Me so?”

Peace and blessings,