As a child I was involved in Sunbeams at church. Sunbeams were a mission organization for children. We sang about being a Sunbeam for Jesus and bringing light into the world. When my family moved from Kansas City to New Mexico, one lady was saying goodbye to my parents and then she turned to me, patted me on the head and said, “Now, Judy, you be a good little Sunbeam in New Mexico!” I took that very seriously. Sunbeams had an important calling and I wanted to live up to that calling.
We met every Wednesday night and learned about missionaries in far away places. We memorized Scripture about “Going ye therefore and teaching all nations…” We made flags of the countries where missionaries were located and wrote missionaries long letters telling them we were praying for them. We were thrilled when we received a letter back.
Authentic missionaries even visited us on occasion. I loved missionaries, and as a little girl I thought they had the highest of callings. I was amazed because they were willing to leave their families in America, go to foreign lands, learn a new language and live among cultures where epidemics, poisonous snakes and wild animals were normal and frequent encounters. Stories of hauling water from the creek, and accounts of rides in jeeps along dusty roads with elephants running along behind them just made me gasp with wonder. I thought they surely must be special people. Who could commit to do something that dangerous and fascinating? To me that was the pinnacle of spiritual calling.
As a little child, I visualized myself a missionary to some far away place, living out my commitment to Christ. I felt the sacrifice and distance made the commitment even more significant and purposeful because it was not in the USA. I sensed that surely God was calling me to do wonderful things — meet with natives, tell them Bible stories, help them get well, live in hazardous conditions and be exposed to dangerous things. I wanted to do all of this to show them the love of God.
But today I am far, far away from Africa. God called me in a totally different direction. I found that as a young woman seeking my calling, childlike plans and aspirations are not necessarily God’s plan.
God asked Isaiah, “Who will I send and who will go?”
Isaiah responded, “Here am I Lord, send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
The calling is just the same, whether a person goes to Africa or Clovis, whether it is Muleshoe or Korea. The important thing is the calling and the response to that calling. The important thing is willingness and a willingness and dedication to heed God’s call no matter what that call might be. The response should be, “Here am I. Send me!”
We may think we have no gift, no talent in particular. We may not be missionaries in far away places, and we may not make national news as great statesmen, doctors, singers, orators, teachers or writers. During our lives, most of us will not make the national headlines and most of us will not be household names expect in our own homes and in a few others. But no matter what our calling, we may the person the God uses, we may be that light that reflects our Savior, no matter who we are or where we are.
I take that to heart even with all my inadequacies. We can be the carrier of that Light that reflects God’s love in a dark world. Remember that even a little sunbeam can bring light to a dark room.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: