There were the seasons she was sickly and weak and we wondered if she’d ever get her legs under her strong enough to walk. One week I had enough of the robbing and stealing of the infirmities that kept plaguing and nipping at her toddler sized heels. I remember searching her out and holding her up a little longer each day. Benia tai, daughter of mine. zaman fi asade le ita be dooru. The time is now for you to walk. And little by little I watched her legs grow stronger and one Sunday she wobbled across a mat right into my arms in the middle of worship. She learned to walk in worship, took her first steps in praise. May that be where I learn to walk and step out as well.
Now she runs and laughs and talks a storm. My sweet shining one, ever gentle as she brushes hair out of my eyes and cups my face in her small hands. My heart melts every time she says mama.
I walk across the compound the other afternoon to the music of her giggle as she shows off a backpack bigger than she is. She stands strong and triumphant all strapped in and I am not sure who is carrying whom. I laugh and capture time in my lens and revel in the gift she is to us. Not because she can carry an amazing load or is prodigious or is anything other or more than the gift of herself.
I watch her and see myself. How sometimes in excitement I strap on a bag that is too big and not my own to carry and then wonder why the novelty of it fades all too soon and I tire of its weight. Often it is because I am trying ever so hard to carry something I see as important but that is not what I was made for.
The real problem comes when I start comparing my backpack with yours. But yours is lighter or bigger or pinker or prettier or smaller or or or or or. The “or”s never stop. Comparison is our greatest compromise.
We each have our own pack. Custom made just for us. So why compare as if our Papa in heaven wanted us to each be a replica of one another. Far from it! He has no cookie cutter children. He makes each of our back packs unique. Custom-made calls that are tailored and suited just for us by the One Who is Love Himself.
True community can only be had when we each are free to embrace the gift of being completely ourselves. True unity cannot be found outside of a celebration of diversity and uniqueness. Unity in spirit and song does not mean uniformity in appearance and action. We each have our own unique dance in the rhythm of His heart, our own unique sound and song that folds into the harmony of heaven. Community happens as we celebrate Him in each other and stop comparing ourselves with ourselves.
So what about you my friend, have you been trying to carry someone else’s backpack that doesn’t quite fit? Maybe ask Papa to show you what your backpack looks like, the one He made just for you. He celebrates the gift you are. Do you? Only when you can see yourself through His eyes as a gift, can you freely allow Him to give you away.