Subjects and predicates, past tense and future tense, dangling participles, active and passive voice.  Ah, the wondrous days of seventh grade English class.

In active voice, of course, the subject of the sentence takes action,  rather than having action happen to him, her or them.  I threw the ball.  The ball was thrown to me.


You did not choose me but I chose you.


God the creator took the initiative in giving us life.

God took the initiative in sending prophets to help us understand more about God’s love and God’s ways.

God took the initiative in the fullness of time when Jesus came to live with us and save us from ourselves.


You did not choose me but I chose you.


We know what it feels like to be chosen, don’t we?  The ad begins with the words:  You know how sometimes it feels as if an app chooses you?  It goes on to encourage us to download the ESPN app for all things sport.

In 1971, a friend walked into her apartment after a trip and discovered that a cat had entered her home, too, walking in surreptitiously under her suitcase.  Our friend couldn’t keep the cat and asked around to find someone who could.  We reluctantly agreed to take her for a while.  Our apartment complex didn’t allow pets – and they didn’t know about our bunnies!  When our friend came through the door with the cat in her arms, that was it.  We named her Chessie, and she lived with us for the rest of her life.  We were chosen for each other.

My grandmother and grandfather were planning to marry, but she wanted to continue to teach piano for a while longer.  Granddaddy told her, “It’s now or never,” and they went ahead with their wedding.  He chose her and she chose him.

The Gospel of Mark pulsates with action:  Jesus consistently went straightaway, immediately, to the next town, the next house, wherever he was needed.

As Jesus tells the disciples that they are no longer servants but friends, he commands them to love each other and to bear fruit that never goes away.

We are to take action, take the initiative, to love ourselves, each other and God.

We are to live in the active voice.

Recently, I was at a farm and marveled at its healing presence, the peace that enveloped the land and buildings there.  It turns out that years ago, members of the Sioux tribe approached the owner of the farm with the offer of performing a sun dance in the pastures.  The owner accepted, and the celebration took place.

As I was leaving, the farm owner suggested that I was picking up on the power let loose in the sun dance.  The Sioux took action and birthed blessings on the land that infuse it still.

What about us?  How can we put into action that active voice?  Say to another, I choose you; I choose to help you, comfort you, support you?

After devoting much of his life to the Peace Corps and to co-founding Habitat for Humanity, Georgian Don Mosley, with his wife Carolyn, founded Jubilee Partners in Comer, GA.  Jubilee Partners welcomes refugees from all over the world and teaches them English and other skills they need to carve out their lives in this country.

They’ve done it, are doing it.  And we can, too.

We can open ourselves up to God and ask God to show us where God wants us to engage our active voices.

Active voices resounding in our homes, towns, faith communities, work and school.

Active voices resounding with life and love.

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2 thoughts on “Active Voice

  • August 19, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    This is a wonderful blog, Katie! Thank you for writing it. As an old English teacher, I enjoyed it on more levels than one!

    • August 20, 2018 at 1:54 am

      Thanks so much, Deedie! So you know all about tenses and participles and voices and conjunctions!

      Good to hear from you —

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