The Lure of God*

By Sr. Susan Hutchens, OSB

Snow again covers the frozen surface of the pond below the Chapel windows, obliterating the recent hole made by the ice-fisherman last weekend.  I have never fished. I don’t care to learn now. But I love to eat fish.  

That image reminded me of a recent experience. In searching the library shelves for a book on Theology that might interest a friend, I came across a book that I read many years ago.  I began re-reading it the other night. I had forgotten how much philosophy was contained in those pages and how my mind does not grasp that in the same way that maybe it once did.  But the title of the book is what intrigues me most: The Lure of God.  It caught me years ago – not just the title, nor the book, (though it has much to say) but the actual “lure of God.”  What does it mean to say that God lures us into the future with love, with promise, with hope?  And what is the future to which God continues to lure us?  I ask this question often. Its answer is new every day.

So what does this “lure of God” have to do with the fish?  Does a fisherperson use a different lure in the winter than in the summer?  Does God use a different lure with me at different times of my life? Does the fish respond to the lure in the same way that we do – reaching out, wanting what is offered? We all know what happens when that fish takes the lure – it dies.  But oh, what a wonderful meal we have from it!

Its death is a means used by God to nourish many – five thousand in the Gospel!  Might my answer, as I reach for God’s lure, lead to a type of “death” too – maybe a death to my own present considerations?  But might my answer, or your answer, to accepting the lure of God into our deepest being also lead to the way in which God wishes us to nourish others? Can I imagine myself – can you imagine yourself! – “being nourishment” for five thousand, or more? It is a daunting thought!

*Taken from a title by Lewis S. Ford

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