And what are you?

I’ve wondered for thirteen years where I was and where I belonged in the church. I have written about my belief in the strength of organized religion and this entry explains more of that the Bible says about this…. So here goes…

Each of us are a part of one body. It’s the way it is. We are meant to be together. This makes us whole, and together. It’s kind of a blunt way of saying it, but it’s my blog and I can say what I want.

So, who are you? And more importantly, at least to me, is who am I? I had wondered before. I took a class about spiritual gifts once, and the ice breaker was, “Who are you? The feet? The head? What?”

I answered “hands” because I didn’t know what else to say. I knew, some how, that wasn’t exactly who I was. I didn’t think about it much until the last couple of weeks, and I determined this: I am a rib.

Ribs are strong. They protect hearts so they can heal them. They are resilient. A broken or bruised rib is normally just wrapped. Not put in a cast or brace. A rib guards against false teaching and ugly things others might say. I come from a rib, and sisters, you do too. It’s feminine and capable of radical things, like forming a woman. I see the rib as a bone with infinite possibilities.

I see the same in myself: I see the same thing in you.

I met a man once who was brutally raped by a priest. He was a drug dealer, but now received millions dollars in retribution. He said to me more than once, “I’d a been someone if this didn’t happen to me.”

He was 32. I tried to tell him it wasn’t too late. He was convinced it was.

I feel that I sort of floundered too, after all these years. I was sure I had spiritual gifts, and even knew that they were, but wasn’t fused to my brothers and sisters. Now I can see myself as one of many bones with different usefulness and functions. Some times I will be called to servanthood (clearing up the chairs at the end of church service. Making coffee, things I do not enjoy) but even more I can work with people struggling in their faith, or in everything. I can gently lead a Bible study without intimidating others. I can point out the incongruous pieces, not in the Bible, that are, ahem, “extra-biblical” beliefs. These are things I can do, but I can’t do them without you.

I have a meeting with my baby’s principal today. There are some significant problems with her classroom and she has not been willing to discuss them with me. Okay lady, it looks like my team is at bat. I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but it does. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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3 responses to “And what are you?

  • Anon.

    I think that you have it wrong. You are called to “servanthood” everyday and you never notice it because you are the master. In a way the only way to serve anything is to work for an end. As long as you don’t do that you will always feel hollow inside. The thing that fills us up is not church service, but great work. And you can only do great work when you love what you do. It is cliched, but I know that it’s true and I also know that only a handful of the people you meet do just this.

    I think that you should find something that you love and stick to it. You’ll be able to reach out and touch more lives that way, and further not only you will lift others but you will empower yourself to life them. The last part is the most difficult thing to do. Everybody is ready to give advice like moi, but pretty few people actually know what the hell they are talking about.

    So ask yourself is making coffee in a church sponsored AA meeting the highest pinnacle you can reach? Obviously not. I personally think that if you did follow the path of college –> counsellor then you will change more lives than you can imagine.

    P.S. – Do email me sometime

  • malakoa

    “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel

    I think we’re dealing with semantics here. I am not speaking of “servant hood” as a concept, I’m talking about it in terms of a spiritual gift. My husband, and even my five year old daughter, do have that gift. They get great joy from things like helping people move, putting up chairs, and other activities. I have prayed to have these practical, even visible blessings, but I don’t have them. I do practice them, but it’s not my main calling.

    1 Corinthians 12 talks about this… http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+12&version=NIV

    But maybe http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Phil.%202:5-8;&version=NASB; is more specific. It’s an honor to be a servant, and is following the path of Jesus. So, maybe it is the highest pinnacle for some. i can’t know to what others have been called – maybe it is to make coffee, maybe it’s to found Universities. The way God sees it, and I hope that I can see it to, is to see the heart of those who work for Him.

    I haven’t talked too much about it, (or maybe even at all) but I do have a bachelor’s degree from a, ahem, “prestigious, West Coast university.” I need a Master’s to pursue what I want to do. I need to get my ducks in a row, not just money but other mental health stuff I’ll talk about later on today.

    After all that – are you not getting my emails? I’m making an effort to answer every one I get. I’ll try and write you back to day. I’ll also go through the out-box to see if I’ve missed something.

    Thank you so much to everyone who has written me, even the mean ones. I love the feedback.

    Blessings to all of you.

  • malakoa

    I’ve been thinking about the response about being in a worship service doesn’t fill you up. I think the point of my post didn’t indicate that. When I’m talking about “church” I’m not talking about a place where we say hi and sing songs. I’m talking about the people who make up the church and their comings and goings.

    Thank you so much for calling that to my attention. I’ve got to be careful to explain what I mean. It kinda reminds me of semi-pro theater versus being in kid’s shows. “Off-book” means “have memorized your lines,” Etc, etc.

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