I must admit that most days, I move through life in a very routine sort of way.
I try to keep up with my family,
to take care of my husband,
to do the errands necessary for the running of a home.
In the midst of all that ordinary,
I sometimes forget who I am.
I slide into the habits of the day like a pair of comfy sweatpants,
and I don’t think about it very much.
Yesterday morning, who I am sort of stepped up and slapped me ‘cross the face.
Kindly, of course. But ever so firmly.
“Wake up, Diana. Wake up!
Remember who you are.“
This is the phrase that did that slapping for me:
OWN YOUR ANOINTING.
Because that is the most central truth about me,
and I so often slough it off, set it on the back burner,
submerge it beneath the detritus of daily living.
I am anointed.
I am anointed for a purpose.
I am anointed to proclaim and to live the very same
Isaiah-message that Jesus himself read out in that Nazareth synagogue,
over 2000 years ago.
Do you believe this?
That YOU are anointed?
Marked by God?
“Hey,” you might say to yourself. “Not me. I’m just an ordinary pew-sitter.
Sure, I go to church. I read the Bible . . . once in a while.
I even try to pray. But anointed?
Hey man, not me. I’m nothin’ special.”
Have you been baptized?
Said ‘yes’ to the call of Jesus, that call that invites you to ‘follow?’
As part of our worship experience,
we were privileged to meet two powerful people,
I mean POWERFUL people.
People who wholeheartedly own their anointing,
people who ARE good news as well as bring good news,
people who work hard every single day to
free those captive to ignorance, confusion and fear;
people who bring light to the darkness in the fields of
education and high finance;
people who seek to set the oppressed free. . .
RIGHT WHERE THEY LIVE.
And they live in Uganda.
Dr. John Senyonyi is the President of Uganda Christian University,
an education and training center for over 12,000 students from nearly 20 countries.
The University is located in East Africa,
but draws students from all over the continent.
Many of those students are pastors-in-training,
who learn from skilled teachers how to ‘rightly divide the word of truth,’
before carrying it back to their home churches.
His wife, Dr. Ruth Senyonyi,
is Chief Counselor to the Federal Reserve Bank of Uganda,
with responsibility for the mental health of over 1200 employees.
Everyday, these two people step into their anointing,
living out the gospel in ways
I can barely imagine.
So what, I wonder, does ‘anointing’ look like in my life?
When I write in this space,
or when I comment on others’ writing in spaces much like this one,
I try to maintain an irenic spirit,
to offer words of encouragement and affirmation.
And I think that’s a good thing, an anointed thing, to do.
Most of the time.
But I’m becoming more convicted and convinced
that from time to time, I need to speak with a little bit more . . .
I search for the right word here.
Perhaps that word is ‘anointing?’
Because that water on my head when I was an infant,
those words seared into my brain tissue as an adolescent,
that Spirit that enlivens me,
when I make space for that enlivening –
it needs to make a difference.
A difference in me, a difference in the small spheres in which I move,
a difference in the very air molecules I inhabit.
And that difference is this:
I am one who is called to bring and to be
I am one who is called to proclaim it,
to preach it – not with words alone, but with the very air I breathe,
the steps I take, the hands I offer, the prayers I raise,
the stands I take, the friendship I extend,
the money I have,
the time I live in,
the energy I expend,
the life I live —
ALL OF IT . . .
all of it.
And that means that when I see or hear something that
‘offends one of the least of these;’
when I witness abuse in any form,
when I see others doing battle, real battle,
against ‘principalities and powers,’
then I need to be the gospel there, too.
And to tell you the truth, that scares the crap out of me.
I want people to like me, to see me as a person of positive impact and insight.
I care what people think of me.
God help me, I do. A lot.
So, if I am to ‘own my anointing,’ I think it means I’m going to be scared
a lot more than I’m comfortable being scared.
I think it’s going to mean speaking more firmly than I am sometimes
comfortable with speaking.
I, in no way, wish to cause or give offense,
but there is a time and a place to say, ‘enough.’
I can still do my darnedest to say it graciously, kindly, humbly.
And those adverbs are going at the very top of my personal prayer list
every time I open this laptop to write a single word.
But . . .
I am anointed to bring good news,
to proclaim release to the captive,
to offer sight to the blind,
to set the oppressed free.
And people may not always ‘like’ what that looks like.
When Jesus began to speak out his anointing,
the people in Nazareth disliked it so much,
they threatened to throw Jesus right off a cliff.
I am, as always, a work in progress.
So this will take time, thought, prayer and practice.
I’m hoping you’ll help me to embrace
the full extent of my own anointing.
And I am promising to help you to do the same.
Because we need to OWN it.
Yes, we do.
Signing on with the usual Monday crowd, each of whom I love a lot. Michelle, Jen, Ann, Laura: