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A Marked People

Judith Deem Dupree


The time we live in is the Times of God. A time like no other since time began on planet earth. We are here, planted and pruned and productive - - maybe not as much as we wish we were in the ways we want to be, but in a way that prepares us to encounter and respond to life as it unfolds. We are called to walk apace with the Son of God. We are ordained to live with Him today in a world that is in turmoil and spinning out of control. We are here simply because we have a Lodestar within, and it draws us where He wants us to be at a given moment, for His purposes. The magi knew a Lodestar when they saw one, and it led them to a most unpretentious spot that kings and rabbis never knew of. The Christ dwells in small places and enlarges them. He comes to us in our poverty and enriches us. He measures all things by His omnipotent seeing, and steps among us when and where we least expect it. And so I believe we are indeed called people, and that if we choose, we can be called at any Given moment to step out of our cave, like Elijah, and hear that still, small Voice that called forth creation. Yes - - the world is indeed in turmoil. This is no time to mess around, to spin our wheels, to major in the minors, to waste our lives and our substance on things irrelevant or even peripheral. The very fact of our existing right now is a greater Gift than any of us is prepared for-or even want. But it is ours, because we said YES to Him. We are here in this struggling world to offer a way through life as opposed to a way out of life. I am not persuaded that everything I do and touch and want and dream of is eschatological and prophetic and ordained. But this week, a simple thought struck me, powerfully and suddenly. This is what I "heard:" "You are a marked people."

Because we have "heard" and responded to His Call, we who live in this day, by the Grace and Call of God, are a "marked people." His Mark is truly upon us. We are sealed by that Mark for something quite immediate and pivotal. We are led into His green pastures in order to be prepared for the desert. The desert is a step beyond our door. It may even have crept over our own doorsill. We are called to stand intact, broken and mended, in the midst of the world's rack and ruin, and to become more than solitary soldiers fending off the unseen enemy. We are, all of us, wherever we find ourselves - - alone or crowded in or simply connected - - called to become a Congregation. Not a bless - - me club, not a holier than thou society. A congregate of stalwart, pliable, tenderized, stubborn souls who have found Truth, and express it by the context of our lives-by the sum total, the minutia of our days and ways. We may never see each other, never know each other upon this earth, but we are nonetheless a congregate of marked souls. A steady stream of pilgrims, of magi, following our Lodestar, finding the Rock - - firm place where He dwells. If we have lived it well, others will follow.

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