“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Mysterious gifting

I met a man on a recent trip to the Dominican Republic. His name was Moses and like many people he found himself lost in life. Out of desperation he went to church in a poor area of Santo Domingo.  The pastor allowed him to stay in a room at the church while he tried to figure out things in his life. While at the church, she introduced him to another woman who was running a ministry to children with disabilities. Largely comprised of street children, she opened her home providing food,comfort, education some volunteered professional services and of course love.  He began to go to her home which she opened daily to children.

Over time, he experienced a kind of healing in his life. His relationship with God developed and he began to no longer feel lost. Somehow he found direction in life. Not necessarily to work with children with disabilities, but just in general.

Ok, so think about this in terms of gifting. Disabled street children mysteriously gave a man who lost his purpose in life a sense of direction. Also, they did this totally unknowingly and without any specific purpose to do so. Simply as a result of their presence he found direction. This reminds me of how the beaten man revealed the character of the three men who passed by him in the story of the Good Samaritan.

Paul tells us that we all (everyone of them 1Corinthians 12:18) are gifted. Verse 21 of this same passage says the weaker are indispensable. He doesn't need to tell us that the stronger are indispensable because we already think that. This chapter is all about how we are wrong. There are phrases that include this idea (it would not v 15, cannot say v 21, on the contrary v 22).  Our thinking before being corrected results in the fact that some gifted people are excluded. Interestingly, because of exclusion of most severely disabled people, perhaps a whole category of gifting which might be more common in people with that characteristic have been excluded. The gifting of their presence alone which impacts the environment, sometimes clearly and sometimes mysteriously is largely absent. Yet as with the story of my friend Moses and the Good Samaritan there is gifting and it is expressed when given the opportunity.

The questions are, first, will we facilitate the integration of people into the church and second, will we seek to provide a platform (whatever that might be) for their gifting to be expressed?  There is truly a mystery in this. But when we see the effects of integration we might also get some insights into what is now mysterious gifting.


No comments: