I was at an ordination this weekend in which the newly ordained pastor was commissioned with one word: ‘Behold’. The young woman stood there while the Commissioner told her the meaning of that word. His explanation went something like this: “Behold is not a word we use commonly and yet it is found in Scripture over 50 times. As a pastor you are asked to be – just be yourself and allow others to be themselves as well. You don’t have to try to become anything other than what God created you to be. And secondly, you are asked to ‘hold’. Hold the awareness of Christ in you and hold that faith stance for all you will serve.” That is a very rough translation of what she shared.
As a contemplative woman, I was deeply touched by his message. Behold is the essence of contemplation. God beholds us in the daily-ness of our lives. It is an ongoing intimate relationship of encounters in which and through which I am transformed and become a transforming instrument of God in our world. We become awakened to this relationship through our lives of prayer, reflection and availability. Be hold! Not two movements of the Spirit, but rather one movement in this dance of love.