I‘m part Italian, which means I have an inclination to the emotional and dramatic. I am passionate, and vocal, and I talk and worship with my hands. (We were joking last night at choir practice about the number of times we’ve clocked one another in the head or butt or back as our hands have flown up in worship when we’re in close quarters!)
I also struggle with being a little myopic – and by that I mean that sometimes things seem so utterly obvious to me I wind up irrationally frustrated by people around me who don’t see the same things I do, or see them differently, without any reference to other contexts or perspectives. Sometimes I’m right about what I see and how I see it, and sometimes I’m wrong. In neither case am I shy about sharing my opinion, whether the person I’m talking to wants to hear it or not.
So when I took a spiritual gifts assessment a year and a half ago, I was both surprised and not surprised to learn that my two primary spiritual gifts are exhortation and prophesy.* The intervening months have been an interesting journey for me, as – among other things – I’ve been brought face-to-face with the ways I have been a poor steward of these gifts and the ways I need to incorporate them more completely into my life and my service. As I continue to dig deeper for a more complete understanding of God’s call on my life, it’s fitting that our pastor is currently offering a sermon series on the Book of James (“Mirror Image”), which is entirely about how we are to live our lives as Christians.
My life at the moment is entirely focused on restoration and healing – my own, and not others. It feels sometimes like selfishness but I know deep down this time is essential if I am to move into the next phase of my life as an effective, powerful, free and grace-filled daughter of God. The truth about sin is that it damages the people God loves, and I bear the scars of sin in my life – my sin and the sins of others. But since I’m being honest, I also bear wounds which I have not allowed to heal, wounds I have nursed and licked and fussed over so they are continually raw and painful – and though I have covered them up, the slightest and often inadvertent touch brings me to my feet with my teeth bared and my heart breaking all over again.
So this is healing. And hope. And God is faithful.