Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"But, if We Are the Body, Why Aren't His Arms Reaching . . ."


1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage on another, and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Pastor Wallace tells the story of a man, Jay, who attended one of his previous churches.  For his entire life, all Jay has ever heard from his parents and other family members is he's not good enough.  Will never amount to much of anything.  So, why try?

And, sadly, Jay believes it.  Even though he has a good job and a family of his own, he doesn't see himself as worthy.  Especially, when it comes to serving in the church.

After a sermon Pastor Wallace gives about being the Body of Christ, and urging each person to find his or her gifts and use them in service to the Kingdom, Jay nervously approaches him.

"Preacher, that was a good talk you gave us today, but I don't reckon I'm a person God can use."

"Nonsense, Jay," Wallace assures him.  "God can use everyone.  You are a part of the Body as much as anyone else here."

"Well, sir, if I belong to the Body like you say, I must be the little finger on the hand.  It ain't good for much, and neither am I."

"Hold on a minute!  That little finger is more important than you think.  Had a buddy when I was a teenager who had his pinky and ring finger chopped off in an accident.  Before that happened, he used to be a fantastic basketball player. Guess what?"

"What?"

"Without that pinky, he couldn't make lay-ups anymore.  The ball would just roll out of his hand.  Don't you think those pro-basketball folks pulling down the big bucks see great value in their little fingers?"

"Why, Preacher," Jay says, "I never looked at it that way.  So, you're sayin' as small as my gift is, it matters?"

"Yes, sir, that's it exactly!"

"But I don't know what my gift is."

"Go home and pray about it, Jay.  God will give you the answer."

The following Sunday, Jay comes up to Wallace after the service, a broad smile on his face.

"I done my prayin' this week, Preacher, and I got an idea.  We ain't got no one regular to keep up the church grounds.  And, it ain't attractive when you drive up and the outside looks a mess.  Makes folks wonder what's on the inside.  So, if it's alright with you, I'll tend the grounds here every week."

And, true to his word, Jay maintains the outside of the church property for 25 years.

That's a pretty powerful pinky . . .
~
How are you affirming and building up others in the Body of Christ?

Will you pray with me?
We thank You, Father, for the many and varied gifts You have given us.  Help us to recognize ours and encourage the talents in others so that, together, we may serve as Christ's Body here on earth.  Amen.

40 comments:

  1. Beautiful thought!

    Yes many times it happens that in our growing up years we tend to form an opinion about ourselves based on what people think about us.

    It takes a lot of effort to let go of those beliefs and form a new & correct opinion about ourselves.

    I loved this 'little pinky' thing..something truly worth to ponder and remember everytime I feel low :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Me!
      We do form self-assessments as we grow and can be so easily swayed by others' views of us. It is wonderful when we choose to build someone up, not tear them down.
      And, yes, the "pinky" story made a big impression on me, too. Every part of our body is important as is any thing we do in the service of God.
      Blessings to you!

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  2. Oh so beautiful! It reminded me of a song we used to sing for Communion (We Are Many Parts by Marty Haugen)~ and how powerful words are... Jay has allowed the Spirit to speak to him through Pastor Wallace :)

    As I reflect on this post tonight, I am filled with gratitude to the Lord Who affirms my existence on earth... The Lord Who sees each one of us as precious and special.

    I pray with you ~ I thank the Lord for the many people He gifted us ~ the many arms He uses to bear us up.

    Lots of love Martha :*

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Melissa!
      Yes, we never know when a word of encouragement will speak deeply to another. We need to be about building up others always.
      And, it is such a comfort to know the Lord affirms us with such mercy and grace, bearing us up when times get tough.
      Blessings to you!

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  3. Such an important post and empowering as well for others to read. Everyone is important and has something to contribute.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Jessica!
      Indeed, we all have a part to play and a service we can give to the world. May we always lift others up!
      Blessings to you!

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  4. Beautiful post...every little thought and action are powerful.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Janu!
      We can never underestimate just how powerful our words and actions can be - so true!
      Blessings to you!

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  5. This is a post all children and parents should read, Martha. We've all got to realize our special gifts and be encouraged to do so by our parents. Everyone needs a Pastor Wallace in their lives to help them know that they are special, but finding our gifts that's up to us. Another meaningful post, dear Martha!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Corinne!
      So glad you enjoyed this post, my friend. Oh, yes, we all need people who encourage us to be all that God has meant us to be. Indeed, all of us are special in our unique ways, and sometimes all it takes is one Pastor Wallace to help us truly see.
      Blessings to you!

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  6. It would be good if there were more Pastor Wallace's reaching out to the Jays of the world. Each of us has something worth sharing and giving to others sadly if a person isn't taught to recognize it within it's wasted. Such a kind thing for the Pastor to say. I wonder if he knows the difference he made in Jay's life? It's the smallest things, you know.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Brenda!
      I know . . . wouldn't this world be such a joyful place if more of us took on the roll of Pastor Wallace? Because, we know that a gift not developed is one wasted, sometimes forever.
      And, I think Wallace does know the difference he made in Jay's life. Jay passed away recently, and the family called Wallace to conduct the service even though it has been years since he was pastor of their church. Wow . . .
      Blessings to you!

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  7. This is a wonderful story Martha! So true! Each small parts makes the picture complete. Loved this! Have a blessed day!

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Nelieta!
      So glad you enjoyed today's post. Your mention of "small parts" just made me envision the Body of Christ like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle - lose one piece and the picture is incomplete.
      We all count! :)
      Blessings to you!

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  8. This is a powerful post, Martha! Especially the call to action -- I love it!

    How am I affirming and building up others in the Body of Christ? I am listening to God and creating through His inspiration: artwork, relationships, classes, moments...I see others' lives being touched in large and small ways by my thoughts and actions. And, I am touched by them. What else is there? XOXOX

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Linda, and so glad you enjoyed the post.
      Yes, my friend, your work is most definitely building up the lives and talents of others. That they are touching and inspiring you is frosting on the cake!
      And, you are so right - what else is there?
      Blessings to you!

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  9. I had a friend who claimed to be an asshole in the body of Christ. But hey, they have a function too, I said ;-)

    Loved this!

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    1. Oh, lol, Debra! I'm so glad I didn't have any coffee in my mouth when I read this, or it would be spewing out of my nose!
      And, you're right - everything has a function. :)
      Thanks for this humorous comment, my friend, and thanks for stopping by!

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  10. This was great Martha, sometimes people don't realize what there talents are because they are right under their noses. Great post, as always!

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Cathy!
      Yes, sometimes our gifts are so obvious, yet we fail to see them as gifts.
      Glad you enjoyed the post.
      Blessings always!

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  11. What a beautiful story, Martha. As Corinne says we should let our children read this. I am going to send this link to my son. Beautiful , my friend.

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.in/2012/08/gone.html

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Rimly, and for sharing this with Ron. I'm touched!
      Glad you liked the post.
      Blessings always!

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  12. I've been feeling like that little pinky for some time and it was good to hear this.

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Anne!
      I think we have all felt like that pinky finger now and again. But, see how important it is after all? :)
      Blessings always!

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  13. Hi Martha:
    As I've always been fond of saying, we ALL have gifts and it's our plan to discover them. God has given them and we MUST find them on our own. We are given clues, signs what we should do, and unless we see them and NOT ONLY see them but heed the signs as well we won't be fulfilled.

    Thanks for this gentle reminder that we aree all important and that we all have gifts to share.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Chris!
      Yes, we all have gifts to share but, as you say here, we have to see them and act upon them in faith.
      So glad you enjoyed the post.
      Blessings always!

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  14. Nicely put, dear Martha! Thank you!!
    love and hugs,
    -Portia

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    1. So glad you liked the post, Portia, and thanks so much for visiting!
      Blessings always!

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  15. Aww Martha, this is such an encouraging post, a huge blessing for me today. I feel like Jay most of the time. Words of encouragement can truly go a looong way. Thank you so much for lifting me up today, Martha! God bless you always! <3 :-)

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Irene!
      We have all experienced Jay's feelings at some point in our lives. But, those words of encouragement DO go a long way in making us realize how valuable we are as God's children.
      So glad the post lifted you up today! :)
      Blessings to you!

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  16. Whoa! Great testimony to the power of encouragement. And I love how you framed it! That IS a pretty powerful pinky.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Andy, and for your kind comment here. Yes, a pretty powerful pinky, indeed! :)
      Blessings always!

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  17. Dear Martha,
    Great story my friend. A little motivation and encouragement can go a long way. Great post today!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Andy!
      Glad you enjoyed the post. And, yes, motivation and encouragement can go a long way always!
      Blessings to you!

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  18. What a great story! Your gift is teaching. :)

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Rachel, and so glad you enjoyed the story.
      Did you know I taught for years? :) I guess it is in my system . . .
      Blessings to you!

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  19. A wonderful thought for today, Martha. We all are interconnected and no one else can play our part better than ourselves.

    Thanks for the wisdom.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Susan!
      Yes, I agree that we are all interconnected and each one of us has an important role to play.
      So glad you enjoyed the post. :)
      Blessings always!

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  20. This is beautiful! We all have worth and value. A pinky finger might be small, but it adds great value and so can we! :-)

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    1. Yes, we DO certainly have worth and value. It's only a matter of finding that gift and believing God can use it to His greater good.
      Thanks for visiting, Tameka!
      Blessings to you!

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