I greeted the husband and wife who are in the ministry at the church of the Valley. They were at one of the coffee shops in downtown Campbell, as are a number of Christian small groups from time to time.
When I began I asked what they had been studying, if anything. Erin said that they had been reading in I Cor on the topic of spiritual gifts and how they function in the church.
They could have been reading in I cor 12 about the diversity of gifts or in I Cor 14 on tongues and prophecy or both. She did not specify which it was.
There is an unusual part in I Cor 12 which says . . .
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[e] yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it . . .
I do not know if the husband and wife had recently read or thought about this passage.
Anyway, it is a funny and perhaps encouraging passage, for I decided after our conversation to send a list of prayer requests to Erin. The prayer request list includes an introduction which states that I pray for women and girls who are pretty, interesting, fun, etc.
I pray that God bless them or that God help them or both.
In previous years some Christians believed that God was calling me or leading to do alleged great and important things such as some unspecified ministry but one tends to presume being a pastor or a teacher from the messages alleged to have been from God to me.
And it turns out that I have no gift or calling to accomplish any such alleged large or great ministry–at least at this time!–but I do pray for many people as a way of being nice to them. I pray for women and girls who are being fun and for persons who are sick and afflicted and for some who are suffering in other lands.
I think that some people dislike my noticing girls and women being pretty or fun or interesting. It appears that some wish that I did not notice.
The question is whether or not I have a gift which is useful to others and to God or even, to myself. I am going to guess that I do, but I have no absolute proof!
Anyway, if Erin and her husband have been reading I Cor 12 in the past few weeks, that would make a very funny coincidence.