I was just doing my job.

I’m a professional free-lance voice talent. That’s code for a person who gets hired to read scripts (or “copy” as it’s called in “the business”) for everything from corporate training videos to movie trailers or TV or radio commercials. We’re the people you don’t see, but you do hear. Sure, it’s an industry being taken over by the “famous voices” but I’m grateful there’s still plenty of room for “working talent” like me. You could say I read out loud for a living!

Just recently, I was hired to read a book so that it could also be offered to the public in an audio format. When I finished recording the author’s 67,000-plus words, the project shifted to the sound engineer, who would edit and polish, finalizing a finished product that will be offered and released alongside the actual book.

So there I was, just doing my job, when these words caught me off guard:

“I know Jesus’ yoke is light, but sometimes it feels heavy. I have found over the years that the gospel does not always simplify my life or the lives of any of his followers. If we are listening well, it rends us first. It shatters us. This new life with the Holy Spirit within pummels my heart as much as soothes it. He adjures us to love the unloved, to clothe the unclothed, to pray for those who persecute us. I am constantly rocked from self-sufficiency and determined ignorance into longing for others’ freedom and healing.

Here is the paradox of the gospel: It brings peace and fellowship with God himself, but it doesn’t allow us to be satisfied with our own good fortune. It awakens us to the world and its afflictions, and our own afflictions multiply because of it. For the disciples as well. Suddenly these twelve men awakened from their cultural slumber to feel great concern for women, for lepers, for prostitutes, for the unclean. Whole categories of people were swept from comfortable invisibility into their path, sometimes laid at their very feet.” (Leslie Leyland Fields, Crossing the Waters, NavPress ©2016, p. 113-114)

I stopped reading aloud to mark the section so that I would remember itand share it here with you.

The author’s words resonated so truthfully with meI felt what she was talking about! My own personal experience echoed hers: our Father doesn’t allow us to remain satisfied with our own good fortune. He keeps rocking our world so that we will awaken to those around us who need freedom and healing, too.

Q Place’s Mary Schaller and John Crilly write this in their book, The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: “Our God is a welcoming God, constantly pursuing, seeking, and inviting people into his loving community…God the Father extends a welcome to everyone” (p. 141-142).

What good news, indeed, that we have a Father who pursued, sought, and invited us! But to reiterate Fields’ thoughts: As much as ending up, finally, in His welcome embrace soothes us, the Holy Spirit simultaneously woos us from a “determined ignorance into a longing for others’ freedom and healing.”

Today, are you simply satisfied with your own good fortune? Or will you consider how to welcome others into freedom and healing just as the Father has welcomed you?

Pamela Klein
Editor, On Q

For more on how to begin welcoming others into the richness of God’s grace, why not check out OnQ’s archives? We’ve had many contributors think and share about their experiences with the Art of Welcoming.