With What You Have

“If my house church member called me at 2 AM with a flat tire I would be there right away… but I wouldn’t have the first clue what to do for him.” A shepherd admitted this sheepishly during his recent appointment ceremony.

When I interview shepherd candidates I usually encourage them to be someone a house church member wouldn’t hesitate to call, even if he has an accident at 2 in the morning. This shepherd was referring to that. I could understand where he was coming from – he’s a scholarly type, and not particularly mechanical. He is currently in the PhD program in economics at Rice University. Even though I’m the one who posed the challenge to him, I myself question how much help he would be for someone with car troubles.

He actually reminded me of myself. I am willing to serve others with my hands but I don’t always have the appropriate skills to do. When I was a child I used to say I would become a scientist when I grew up. I said this not because I knew what it meant to be a scientist but because I was impressed by comic books in which brilliant scientists invented fantastic things. As it turned out, my prediction was true and I eventually entered an engineering college.

Unfortunately, I did not have the aptitude to be a good engineer. I am not good at all at working with my hands. Whenever an appliance broke in our house, I took it apart, not because I could fix it but because I felt it my duty as an engineer to at least take it apart and take a look at it. Of course, most of the time I couldn’t fix it. But even worse, I couldn’t put it back together for someone else to fix. My engineering duty rendered things irreparable and they most often ended up in the trash.

The primary victim of my ineptness as a handyman was my wife. My wife’s love language is being taken care of. She feels loved when a man takes care of household chores and fixes things. It’s a wonder she hasn’t died of frustration having a husband like me! The best I could do was not argue with her on matters like these, since, given my lack of skill, I felt like I had no right. She eventually gave up on me as a handyman and started calling professionals when something needed to be done around the house.

Since coming to Houston, however, God has graciously sent me helpers one by one. Some have helped with my car, some with things around the house, some with office duties. They’ve actually helped raise my self-esteem as a husband. These days I even brag to my wife: “What a wonderful husband you have, with so many people willing to help!”

I may not always be able to serve with my hands, but I can serve with words and prayer. I serve in the ways I can. I hope our new shepherd also seeks to serve with what he has, and doesn’t frustrate himself trying to serve only with what he has not.

No Comments to "With What You Have"

    Leave a Reply