As I write this blog, my neck is completely stuck. Extremely uncomfortable, tiring, but above all very painful. Last night I woke up because I had to go to the toilet. But lying down had increased the stiffness and I couldn’t even get up. Fortunately, René (my husband) woke up from my moaning and helped me out of bed and back into bed. Although I felt very sad at the time, I learned an important lesson that night…
Elly and Rikkert
“I am the hand and you are the foot, we are both very necessary, what I cannot do, you can do well. No one is excessive.” You may know this song by Elly and Rikkert. In my childhood I often shouted it at the top of my lungs. At the time I understood that as people we are all different and that it does not matter, but that we are allowed to love others, despite those differences. Recently, however, this simple children’s song has taken on a deeper meaning for me.
A few weeks ago, all of us Royal Mission staff completed a ‘Keys test’. You know, one of those personality tests. And not one of those that you have tons of, but a very special one. Based on Biblical principles, resulting in a personal DNA profile. It gave a special insight into ourselves. This is how God designed us. That’s how He wanted us. This is who we are. We can walk in there. And we can also look at each other that way. Wow, so beautiful. We enjoyed the explanation and personal words we received. A celebration of recognition, sometimes also of revelation.
I always need the time to let these kinds of things sink in. I really enjoy such a day, but at the same time I find it very difficult to let it ‘land’ in my heart. That’s a vague concept anyway, but for me it stands for deep knowing, really realizing and believing. So in the end my neck helped me with that. No matter how painful.
While I felt like a pitiful human being that night, I realized that I see myself as those muscles in my neck. Invisible especially. You know they are there, but you quickly forget them because you don’t see them. As a result, you could subconsciously start to think that you are not that valuable. And although my head knows that this is not the case, this is what lives deep within me. Phew, so painful too.
A strong neck muscle
But the thought that came to my mind afterwards was; I can’t get up without help now. While I normally don’t know about the qualities of my neck muscles, now that they are failing I notice how much I need them. It was as if God was saying to me: “ This is how I look at you, I have made you like a strong neck muscle, perhaps not as visible as other parts of the body, but so important that the other parts of the body do not function properly without you. ” Elly and Rikkert’s song and the result of my Keys test suddenly came to life. Only now it was not about the ‘other other’, but about myself.
What God said to me that night applies to you too. Maybe you feel invisible, weak, replaceable. Then I may encourage you today with 1 Corinthians 12:22: It is precisely those parts of the body that seem the weakest that are the most necessary. You are necessary. Without you, the body of Christ functions less well. Your church, your community, your family, friends, neighbors need you, with your specific DNA and color. You carry qualities of Father, Son and Spirit. So come out. Rise and shine. In your place, in your way (visible to everyone or more in the background), without hesitation, you can be there, just the way you are!