When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
Luke 19: 5-6
We love the story of Zacchaeus, don’t we? He’s the guy who was small. So small that he had to climb a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. “Smallness”—whether it comes in height like Zacchaeus or in age like 7-year-old Evan—is clearly not a problem in hearing Jesus’ call. But, friends, that’s only the beginning of the story…
Zaccheus was called from his perch in the tree. “Zacchaeus, you come down.” He was called first into the presence of Jesus. And then he was called onto a path from one life to another. And his size was never mentioned, never a theme in the story again. The new path became his story. Evan said: “For Zacchaeus, it was climbing a tree to be seen, and for me it was approaching challenge after challenge with the eyes of my 7-year-old self combined with a fervent resilience of my ancestors that continued to expand the dimensions of my call.”
She, too, was called small—called into the presence of Jesus at an early age. But more important, she was called onto a path that changed the trajectory of her life. Evan has followed the path of that call, despite obstacles. All the time, though, she was sure of the path that Jesus had called her to.
Small does not curtail or hinder the boundaries of our calling.
But determination will.
We often think of calling as something that God just drops in our lap—that our path is made straight when Jesus calls. Far from it. There are trees that block our ability to see, so we have to climb them to find the perspective we need—just like Zacchaeus. Just like Evan.
Jesus called Zacchaeus not just to dinner, but onto a new path in life.
Just as he called 7-year-old Evan.
And you and me.