"I will signal..."
"The Sovereign Lord says to his people: 'I will signal to the nations,
and they will bring your children home.'" (Isaiah 49:22)
Recently Patti and I were wandering through an antique store when I came upon an old railroad signal lantern. I think I've mentioned before that I'm a railroad aficionado (nut) so I had to stop and look. Signals were and are critical on the railroads. Without them there would be constant tragedies. My grandfather actually lost his leg because someone failed to put the proper signal on the rear end of a train that would indicate it was getting ready to back up. The train rolled over his leg as he crossed the tracks on his way to work. Signals are extremely important.
In the passage from Isaiah we hear that God will send a signal to the nations indicating that something very important and wondrous is about to happen in their lives. I thought the same when I saw this hickory nut starting to open on a tree beside the church. God is signaling that something important and wondrous is about to happen in the changing of the seasons. God's creative Spirit is about to take us through another stage in the cycle of life, a reminder of the intricacy and grandeur of God's gift of life for us.
Signals also can be very important in relationships. Sometimes we need to send the other a signal that we're ready to resolve a conflict. It can also be important that we send signals to others that we're "approachable," that we're open to hearing someone's hurt, concern, or even complaint. Maybe we need to ask our selves what sort of signal we normally send to others. Is it an "I'm too busy signal," an "I don't care signal," an "I don't want to be bothered signal," an "I'm too afraid to talk signal," or a "Stay away from me signal?" In railroad signal terms those sorts of signals would all show up as either red or yellow lights. A green light signal would be something like, "Come closer," or "I'm ready to talk," or "I'm ready to listen," or "I have something to share." Signals are important. Whether we realize it or not, we're always working to read the other person's signals, and they're working to read our signals. What color is your signal light?
I pray that God will help me keep my signal light green. How about you?
Blessings and Peace
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia
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"I will signal..."