I have a friend who has whole Faerie Tales inside of her. She dreamt a whole book the other day, and still was not sure it was a sign from God. She longs to be taken seriously, and isn’t sure that magic and dragons are going to give her the voice to call out truth. I love her non-fiction, but I can tell through the posts she leaves on the screen that her eyes light up and her heart thumps faster every time the story comes to her. I want to take her face in my hands and remind her that of all the non-fiction essays C.S. Lewis wrote about God, it is Aslan and Narnia that is most often refered to. Our souls are attracted to the truth, even if it is told through wizards and other worlds.
And I have a friend who made the craziest dishes for the ladies brunch. The vast majority of the ladies at the brunch were Daniel fasting. She whipped up an apple berry crumble and a sweet potatoe hash that was so good I thought there was going to be a Baptist lady fist fight over who got to lick the pan. When asked for the recipe she shrugged it off like it wasn’t a big deal. It was just something she threw together. She wanted to tell us how she could make it better, how she would substitute this or puree that. We couldn’t hear her over the this is sooooo goood groaning that was going on. She doesn’t always see it, but this lady has a gift.
I had the incredible experience of being photographed by a woman who has the gift of seeing. She really sees me. She really sees the beauty of all women. She believes in the beauty of a woman’s body and she can’t stop see it. In a rose waiting to open her face to her maker, she sees in the curves of an ancient tree, the curves of the bodies of the baristas she loves. She keeps thanking me for trusting her, I keep looking at the photos, knowing that this is what my soul looks like. What do you mean thank me? She has a gift, and she gave it to me.
I’m surrounded by people who have gifts, and they keep telling me they are no big deal. If you can take fruits, vegetables, and ground nuts and turn them into a delicious meal, that is a big deal. If you can craft stories from dust without ever living them that is a big deal. If you can take 20 small children to a museum or a zoo and you remember to take them to the bathroom often enough so that no one had an accident, that isn’t just a Thursday. That is such a big deal I want to drop the f bomb on my Jesus blog. If you can apply make up to faces in a way that makes a tired mom feel beautiful, if you drive a bus without running anyone over (a feat I am sure I am not capable of), what you do is a really big deal!
My friend Marvia tweets in a way that makes the internet better, and my friend Leanne makes beautiful things out of sheets people discard. My friend Jamie can find poetry in any book you hand her. My mom can make a birthday cake that will make you feel infinitely loved, and my mother-in-law can make anyone on earth feel welcome in her home. My daughters can charm the pants off of anyone we have ever met on the train. My friend Megan got a kid who hasn’t passed a class in two years, earn a solid B. THESE ARE BIG DEALS! What the Lord has gifted you with is a big, big deal.
I don’t think God wants us to say that what He has gifted us is no big thing. I think He wants us to be proud of it, I think He wants us to share it as proudly as my lovely girls when they run to me with the picture they made while I was in big church. They tell me they made it for me. they demand I hang it on the fridge.
Today we will practice. What do you do that is a big deal? What are you so good at, God should hang it on His fridge?
Thank you Abby. Tearful again reading your blog. I am good at listening to mentally ill people, and homeless people, and people who can look at me and tell I have NEVER walked in their shoes, and make them feel heard and cared about. And that is a gift. A gift that I love having and am blessed to use on a daily basis. I am also good at knowing the needs of my husband and daughter and doing what I can to meet them. I am a good wife and a good mom, even though I work and use my other gift 40 hours a week. Thank you Lord for my gifts and blessing me with the opportunities to use them daily.
You ARE good at those things! And good at making sure the people in your office see who they need to see. And you are good at building community and connecting people in your life who need each other.
Thank you for pointing out the beauty in our everyday lives. The beauty of our friends, our family, our photographer, our bus driver. God has gifted each of them. When we use the talents God has given us, something beautiful is created. I have been blessed with a talent of picking good friends – I am infinitely blessed by them.
I have that talent too! My parents taught my sister and I to form a strong pack, and it is such a gift!
This is a good word, friend. You’ve got my wheels turning.
I joke about having the spiritual gift of three hour coffee dates but the truth is I am a good listener (and good talker). I have a way of getting to the heart because I genuinely care about the person sitting across from me.
I just said that to you in Twitter! You make people feel heard! That is a big deal!
I know I just met you, but YOU are a big deal. You’re a natural encourager, and people are drawn to that like whipped cream on pudding! (Maybe not the best pairing, but UGH – I’d pregnancy-die for some right now).
Thank you! For a long time I thought encouragement was supposed to be gentle and not so…you know….LOUD. But I am learning that I AM good at encouragement. Just the…very enthusiastic kind. And whipped cream and pudding is delicious. Always. YOU are good at being warm and welcoming. That is a fact.
Aargh. I’m the undisputed king of self-effacement. By training, I’m the gray man, and that colour has seeped into my life.
I can write a romance that makes a Marine cry.
Stray dogs run to me, and I take them in. No matter what.
How can I read one of these romances? For real? How do I get one? And keeping stray dogs sounds like a tiny corner of heaven. Good work!
Well…you can get “Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart” from Amazon. Here’s the link –
If you’d like to read my latest, ‘Emerald Isle’, send me an email at tempusfugit02 (at) gmail (dot) com.
The dogs are a small and noisy corner of heaven, yes. I look at them and see how they feel safe and loved here, and it so overshadows anything else I have ever done.
The love I pass on is the reality. I am but it’s reflection, and its shadow. Love is what endures.
Sorry…I didn’t realize that putting in the link would bring up the image of the cover. I would not have done that had I known – that kind of blowing one’s own horn isn’t really proper.
I guess you can click on the image, or the ‘buy from’ box on it?
Don’t apologize! I asked! I wanted to know!
Wonderful and encouraging post. Gratitude not just recognizing what we have been given, but also recognizing who we are! God really did take some time to form us. Thanks for reminding me of this today.
I just finished reading the end of Matthew – “and I am with you always.” God with me, Emmanuel, is what makes me a big deal, he makes you a big deal too.
YES! Oh I love that!