At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1–4, NIV 1984).
My Musings – A lot of us found out this past year that we were “non-essential.” At least as far as the pandemic was concerned. Unfortunately, there are many that felt that way long before they ever heard of the coronavirus. I stumbled across this post by Mike Rowe (a TV host, writer, narrator, producer, actor and spokesman), “I think most people hang on right till they come to believe that they have become ‘non-essential.’ You still matter. You are still essential to someone, even if only to yourself. Why? Because you are still a part of a great tapestry – a single tile in a mighty mosaic that connects us all.”
This might not be what Mr. Rowe was referring to, but that great tapestry, that mighty mosaic, is the work of God. To Him, no one is non-essential. No matter how inconsequential you might feel, no matter how irredeemable you think you might be, no matter if it seems like you are worth more dead than alive or that it would have been better if you had never been born — Christ died for you. Even if you were the only one He had to die for, He would have still said to His Father “nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.”
Mr. Rowe referenced the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where the main character, George Baily had similar thoughts. In his life he fought for the non-essentials, and had this to say to the movie’s antagonist — “Just remember this, Mr. Potter: that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community.” But at the lowest point in his life, he too felt that his life was not so wonderful. That it had been non-essential. But as he found out “each man’s [or woman’s] life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
I do not mean to diminish those who were considered “essential” during this pandemic. They have been, and are, playing a vital role to which we all owe a great debt of gratitude. But the so-called “rabble,” the smallest stitch in the tapestry, the tiniest tile in the mosaic play a vital role as well, and when they are not around, it “leaves an awful hole.” A hole in their family, a hole in the community, a hole in the Church and a hole in Kingdom.
My Advice – God does not wish that any (even the “non-essential”) should perish, but that all should come to repentance. For each one that goes missing, it leaves an awful hole in His “heart.” Don’t go missing. Become part of the tapestry that God is designing. Be a tile in His great mosaic. They won’t be the same without you.
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 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 cease to be part of the body. 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? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Corinthians 12:14–26, NIV 1984).