It's a sensitive time for me as I prepare to hand in my application for the permanent chaplain position that I've loved as interim for the past five months. Even with the discovery that students are "secretly" petitioning on my behalf and the reassurances from many that I'm a good fit, I still have those nagging "what ifs" circulating in my brain. Today I will walk in my first official procession in my robe and preside on the platform and offer official prayers, but part of me feels like a kid playing dress-up. My old preaching robe doesn't look as official as the academic gowns, and my hood is not as fancy or prestigious as the doctoral ones of those who will surround me.
Yesterday, my weekly worship gathering commenced for the semester and I had prepared a study on community, focusing on the passage in 1 Corinthians 12 about how we are all the body of Christ, but being different members with differing gifts. The scripture goes on to propose that the members can't argue that they don't belong to the body because they don't have the gift of another.
1 Corinthians 12:15-20
New International Version (NIV)
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
It should have hit home. All our gifts are unique, but essential. We are made to work together. Except only one student showed up for the service. She is very dear to me and I was glad to have her, but as she is a Muslim, I didn't go into my body of Christ scripture (probably due more to my level of discomfort than hers). So I went home and indulged in some blogs and self-pity.
It wasn't until this morning as my daughter was taking a bath that things began to click. She was playing with two cars in the bathtub and was creating a storyline and narration for them, as she usually does. I was averting my eyes but listening, which is her preference. As she is self-conscious, she doesn't like to invite us in to her play world often, which is a shame because she is one creative girl. Anyway, I overheard the conversation between the cars, which went something like this:
Purple car: "I'm shiny!"
Black car: "I'm dark!"
(repeated a few times, then she turned them over so the bottom of the cars faced up)
both cars: "But we're both the same on the bottom!"
Yes, sometimes we're shiny, and sometimes we're dark, but in essence, we are all the same. Beloved, beautiful children of God.
Thanks be to God, and to reminders from toy cars and my lovely and brilliant daughter.