Grace and the Call of God

I walked out of my home on a warm weather day and heard the family birds call each other. They are back, about to make a diving, trilling nuisance of themselves for another spring on our front porch. They have been there for seven of our ten years in our home, making their nest, laying their eggs, nurturing their young.

They call to each other. Their communication is efficient, effective, all the things you would expect a successful (surviving) species to say about its communication technique. And, being birds, their call has more than a hint of beauty to it. Apparently, in nature, there is nothing that says you have to be macabre to be effective. Aesthetics have their place.

This brings me to the Thursday point in what has now become an obvious series on grace in the divine Call. That is, as with the birds, there is this expected result with the Call; that it will attract.

Consider a larger bird, the albatross. An albatross couple marries for life. They produce an egg each year, unless they lose an egg or offspring one year. If they lose their one offspring, they may go as many as four years before they try to produce another egg. They almost never try again the very next year, though they do meet up annually.

The albatross does not try to keep track of its mate over the ocean during the 365 day span between mating sessions. They simply have an instinctive push to go their way, but return to meet and mate (or, at least, to meet) once a year on a mutually agreed upon date at their breeding site. When they arrive, each one calls to the other. They attract their mate all over again. Cross an ocean, span a year, survive a storm, fly through a gale; no matter. When you get within calling distance, your call must still attract the object of your affections.

To be proficient, a Call must be providential in its transmission. This is the risk. Someone, the intended Someone, must hear the Call, or it is only beautiful, wasted air. The Call must attract its intended mate.

What is attractive about a Call? A Call must provide something necessary and missing. There will always be a need for birds and bird calls and, well, baby birds. The Urge to Merge cuts across all species, or the species would not survive, obviously. This is a necessity, but not the only one. There must be love, or something darn near like it, for beauty to have much of a chance.

A Call has risk and reward to it in this sense, then. To be successful, a Call must attract.

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