Out of Place by Robin Densmore Fuson
Do you feel out of place? Could you be?
A weird thing happened in my kitchen. Our cabinets, like most kitchens, have round silicone bumpers on the inside so the cabinet door doesn’t bang shut. One of the upper cabinet doors couldn’t close. I craned my neck up to see something on the face of the right side obstructing the left. I climbed a stepstool to get a closer look.
Somehow, the bumper had drifted to the front. Our cabinets are tall ones so I needed my husband to get that bugger off and reattach it to its proper place.
Why do you suppose it happened? Friction? My magnetic personality drew it out?
Each part of the cabinet has a specific function. The shelves hold items. The hinge is made up of individual parts so the door is attached, closes, and opens. Ours are soft close hinges that are noiseless and with a little push on the door, the hinge draws the cabinet slowly closed, with no more than a whisper. Every kitchen is unique. The size and décor of the door are for style and aesthetics—whether stained or painted, tall or squatty, wide or skinny. Some kitchens sport glass fronts to display fine glassware or dishes. One overlooked but strategic piece is tiny disks called bumpers.
The Christian life is like the bumper in the cabinet. The Lord made each of us with a purpose. We are all unique. Our direction in life, our function in the body of Christ, and our calling is distinct.
At the time we trust Jesus as our Savior, we are brought into the family of God. He created us special. Our function in the family or body of Christ is specific to us. Some might be prayer warriors, worship leaders, teachers, ushers, or a pastor. Or perhaps, write devotions, evangelizing, feeding the homeless, encouraging, hospital, doing maintenance, shepherding, focusing on missions, or any of the spiritual gifts. All have an important function. Not one is more significant than the other.
When someone with a particular niche steps out of their giftedness, problems arise. What happens when one person designed by the Father to evangelize, decides to be an usher? Or the one that is an amazing usher, who makes people feel welcome, decides to be in the sound booth instead. Then the family or body of Christ doesn’t function as well as could be. Also, it could discourage someone from being in his or her perfect position because the place was occupied. All of those positions/purposes are wonderful but the best suited is the one created to fill that placement.
The bumper on my cabinet didn’t stay in its function but slipped out front to be “décor.” While out of place, the other parts of the cabinet couldn’t do their jobs. The hinge couldn’t pull the door shut, the other bumper wasn’t used. When my husband put the bumper back where it belonged, everything worked well.
We need to embrace our giftedness. Be content with our function. Go all in with our service. Be where we are designed to be.
We need to be the best “bumper” we can be and high-five the other “bumpers” in our world. We should celebrate other people and encourage them to stay strong and be content in their placement and function. What part of the body of Christ were you created to be? Are you honoring that role? Have you obeyed the Lord and discovered your spiritual gift? We need you.
“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (1 Corinthians 12:7 nlt).
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12 nlt).
“In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary” (1 Corinthians 12:22 nlt).