This week I headed back to El Callejon. After a week of vacation, and then a week of staff training, it’s been great to be back. I’m alone right now, as Daisy is in Miami for a conference with her church. I’m thankful she was able to go, because I’m sure it will be a great time of fellowship and learning.
And… I’m super excited, because she plans to go to a Michael’s store! For those of you who don’t know, Michael’s is a giant craft supply store. Like Lowe’s or Home Depot, it’s filled with row upon row of stuff to make other stuff. Of course, instead of drawer handles and light fixtures, Michael’s has scrapbook supplies, beads, and embroidery thread.
We had one in Harrisonburg, and I’d venture in occasionally. To be honest, it kind of overwhelmed me as lots of the rows had things I didn’t recognize – and even if I did, I had no clue how to use them!
When women and teens come on outreaches, they often bring things they bought at Michael’s. When Daisy sees one of those bags, and listens as participants describe all the stuff you can find there, her face lights up and she gets this dreamy expression.
One day we went onto the Michael’s website. Sitting upstairs at the SI Base, looking at the variety of stuff available, it was as if the clouds parted and a single beam of sunlight shot down, illuminating my laptop. If I had listened closely, I probably could have heard the “Ahhh” sound of heavenly creatures!
For me, it’s just a store, and not one I’d go out of my way to visit unless I had a very specific need. For Daisy... “Ahhh!” Of course, I’ve got my own “Ahhh” places that she’d likely not enjoy!
Carlos and I were talking one day about how each of us has different gifts with which to serve Jesus. He reminded me that we walk on our feet and use our hands to eat. That is to say, our body parts are designed with specific purposes, and the whole functions best when we use them in the way God intended. Sure, it’s fun to try and walk on our hands, but it’s not the best way to get around.
In the same way, the Body of Christ is filled with variety. The Holy Spirit has given each of us gifts, all different, but all equally essential. When a part of the human body doesn’t function well, other parts can compensate, but that’s not ideal. It’s the same thing with the Body of Christ.
I think it is easy to fall into the temptation of trying to do everything. The ‘feet’ aren’t doing their part… well, here, I’ll just walk on my hands for them. Or, of suffering from “Spiritual gifts envy” and insisting on serving in a way we’re not designed. Anyone who has watched one of those reality show auditions has seen people who are ‘eating with their feet’!
In the Body of Christ, however, it’s more than just singing off-key. If I am neglecting my own Spiritual gifts, or, trying to carry another’s, either because they are not, or I like their gift better, I am in danger of harming the whole.
In fact, I may be robbing someone of their “Ahhh”, of their joy in finding the place where their “deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet” (Frederick Buechner).
So, today, I’m rejoicing at the thought of Daisy dancing in the aisles of Michael’s. And, I’m praying God continues to give me clarity and courage to live out His call through the Spiritual gifts He has so generously given me.
Feet, be feet. Hands, be hands. And, be confident that where we are using our gifts, our God will supply all our need according to His great riches in Jesus Christ. In that place, there is true vocation, true calling, true joy.