What if I Had Not Asked?
By Grace Andrews of Independence, MO, USA
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your God. —Matthew 5:14–16 NRSV, adapted
Whether music or drama, speaking or encouraging, we all have gifts to share. I love writing dramas for the church. When others willingly and credibly portray the parts, many blessings occur. One child I will never forget came to me after a scripture portrayal, eyes shining, and said, “Did that happen?” I told him I had taken the exact words from scripture. His response? “I’m going home to read my Bible.” And I silently said, “Yes!”
Several years ago while living in Kirtland, Ohio, the mission center president, knowing the joy I take in creating drama, asked me to write a historical play. We would perform the play in the Kirtland Temple. After writing it, I easily found cast members except one—Emma Smith. No one available looked the part.
After much prayer, one day as I sat in the Kirtland Congregation, Becky came walking in with her husband and sat down directly in front of us. Squeezing my husband’s arm, I said, “That’s her!” Pulled from his meditation, he said, “Who?” I said, “Emma! Look at her!” He said, “How do you know she can act, or will?” I said, “I don’t know, but she’s Emma!”
As it turned out, not only could she act, but she was a former thespian. Was she willing? She was thrilled. She did a great job. I had never seen her before that day. That final invitation made the play a worship experience for church members as well as those in the community who attended.
What if I had not asked? All can share in big and small ways, but sometimes a gentle nudge, an invitation, is needed. We need to find intentional ways to help everyone share their gifts in the ministry of the Christ’s community.
Prayer for Peace
For the many times we have felt your blessing, God, we may wonder, “What if we had not asked?” Help us take every opportunity to invite others to share their gifts with the community.
Spiritual Practice: Honoring God’s Call in Others
Reflect on how you sense God’s calling reflected in the gifts and actions of others. Begin by prayerfully asking to recall particular moments when the gifts of others were a blessing to you. When has God revealed grace to you through the life of another? When have you felt resistant to the gifts offered by another? Reflect on how you honored that person’s call. Write in your journal or reflect on how you can help others develop and share their gifts.
Today, God, I will not hesitate to ask.