My sister doesn't know how much I envy her. While I managed to inherit all of the talent and IQ ... she was the angel child. She was never in trouble, always thinking of others, always giving.
Me, on the other hand ... I am, and always have been ... a mess. Disorganized, distracted, frequently disobedient, etc. I was saved at an early age because I was very aware that I was a sinner and could NOT make it into Heaven on my own merit. Yet, even so, while the spirit is willing ... the flesh is weak.
Try as I might. I am not my sister.
And it doesn't help that I'm surrounded by so many other women to whom this servant attitude is second nature. Aunts, my late Grammy, my sister's best friend. All these women to whom I compare myself and just fall short. Women who look at me and shake their heads because how can I possibly justify just sitting at my computer writing all day.
And sometimes ... I question my salvation because of it. How can I possibly be a Christian if I can't give of myself freely like all of these other women I know and respect?
And then one day, as my mother and I were discussing spiritual gifts, a second passage in the Bible sprang to mind. One that I'd considered many times, but ... suddenly ... it struck me.
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1 Corinthians 12:15-16, 21
I'm surrounded by women who are hands - reaching forward to the community, administering to needs. Service is their spiritual gift, and they give of themselves so beautifully.
But, much as I wish it were, service isn't my gift. It's exhortation - encouragement. I'm a mouth, not a hand. God has given me words to say and write and they're no less valuable. I see people down and my drive is to comfort and cheer them. I give of myself just as freely - just in a different way.
I respect and admire these women, but I am not them. God has not called me to fill their shoes.
I am a mouth. And I will speak encouragement to the people around me. I will BE an encouragement to those around me.
And to all of the rest of you who aren't hands either, and who aren't mouths (though I imagine, in my world of authors, there are a good number of mouths), you're just as valuable. Because the body needs feet, ears, eyes, arms, stomachs, noses, even little pinkie toes.