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  • Writer's pictureMonica Walton

Hear Him Call Your Name

Keeping Faith in Focus

"The Lord bless you and keep you!   The Lord let His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!   The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!" (Numbers 6:24-26)

Image of the Painting “Rest on the Flight into Egypt” by French artist Jacques Stella, 1596-1657 It is oil on lapis, a bright blue stone providing the natural background for this painting.

Let the words of that blessing pour over you as we flip the calendar and embark on 2024.

Take a moment and picture the Lord raising His hand to bless you. You are not with a crowd of people, not with your church, not with your family. Just you. As you embrace His presence, notice how the Lord looks at you with immense, unmatched love. His face shines brightly, yet softly, and warms you. He keeps His face turned toward you. He wants you to know He is with you. He softly calls your name and you know you are loved. You have never felt so loved.


This is Peace ~ a perfect way to begin the new year.

To me, peace seems hard to come by these days. How about you?


One day last week, I was struggling in traffic. I had places to go and things to do -- important things to help others. They were about 30 miles apart, and I was wanting to make good time. It was one of those scenes where you keep switching lanes trying to make a little leeway, but as soon as you join a stream of cars that had been flying past you that lane inevitably becomes the slowest. I could feel myself getting frustrated and distressed. I decided to stop trying to get ahead of the slower cars. I would just relax, stick with one lane, and keep my eyes on the traffic in my lane. I would focus on the purpose of my destination and not let the other lanes interrupt my journey. My goal was not to be the fastest.


This moment sparked an inspiration to plan for faithful living: to focus on the purpose of my life as I go about the rhythm of the day, rather than the bumps and interruptions that land in my path.


Mary and Joseph had to navigate traffic on dusty roads with a donkey. They were trying to live a quiet, faithful life with focus on God's mission for them. But, there were many lanes of traffic swirling around them along the way....the whispers, the unbelievers, the hatred, paying taxes, finding a birthplace, escaping Herod. They had to have felt distress and frustration on the journey. Mary heard God call her name to be the mother of the Son of God, and she kept that in focus. Joseph heard God call him to care for and protect Mary and the Christ Child, and he kept that in focus. Take another look at the beautiful painting of the Holy Family above. It is a depiction of them on their difficult journey, yet every face radiates tenderness and love. Every being, even the donkey, is looking and reaching toward another with care and concern. I want to live like that! (Note: This is a photo of a prayer card I pray with every day. My son, Jeffery, chose this beautiful image for his personal prayer card in remembrance of his consecration last summer. Read more about that here)


What does the road ahead look like?

We continue the celebration of the joyous Christmas Season and all the beautiful, hopeful pieces attached to it. But as Christians living in this moment in time, we know how Jesus' life story goes. We know His Crucifixion lies ahead. Last week on the Feast of Saint John, only two days after celebrating The Nativity of the Lord, the Readings jumped ahead to the Gospel scene where Mary Magdalene shared the shocking news of the empty tomb with Peter and John. (John 20:1-8). The next verses reveal that after the others left, Mary Magdalene couldn't pull herself away from the place where Jesus was last seen. She stayed behind weeping and wondering what they had done with her Lord. I imagine her bent over with grief, tears soaking her face and clothing. Her head is dizzy with questions and fear. Where did they take Jesus? She undoubtedly felt distressed and frustrated. Then, someone shows up. She thinks he must have been the one to move the body of Jesus. She will soon have some peace. But, time stops when the man calls her name. Everything changes. Her heart is filled with love and she knows it is Jesus!

"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!' She turned and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rabbouni,' which means Teacher." (John 20:16)

Mary heard God call her name and understood the blessing spoken over the Israelites. She felt the Lord bless her and keep her. She let the Lord's face shine upon her, and she felt peace. She was called to share the Good News with the disciples, and she kept that in focus as she encountered the whispers, the unbelievers, and her own fears and doubts.


Hear Him call your name and keep that in focus.


Each of us is now on the 2024 journey with Jesus. The best way we can navigate the road ahead is by hearing Him call our name. Let us go about our days seeking Him whom our hearts love. God created each of us and our hearts are made to seek Him on every road we travel. He calls each and every one of us to His purpose. Take a moment and picture the Lord raising His hand to bless you. Notice how the Lord looks at you with immense, unmatched love. He softly calls your name, and you know you are loved. Be Blessed!





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teresajdavis
Jan 03
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

As I pictured my Lord looking at me then blessing me I knew He loved me and I shivered!

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Jan 03
Replying to

That is beautiful, Teresa! God bless you!

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Guest
Jan 03
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Absolutely beautiful

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Jan 03
Replying to

Thank you! Happy New Year!

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