it’s not for me

my gift is not for me
not for that empty spot on my trophy shelf
not to keep me company
when i’m lonely

it’s not for holding so tight it’s crushed and ugly
or for hiding in a closet where it gets musty and moldy

it’s for fitting together with all the rest
as though part of a body Lego
forming as one to function
as our God surely knows best

it doesn’t puff out its chest or compare itself
showing the bitter side of pride
it doesn’t waste much time in the mirror
asking its reflection why

the better part of each day it spends
in deepest gratitude
looking forward to each turn of the road
as it winds and wends

© Joel Tipple
#24/14

Person in the Pew

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Dear person in the pew in front of me,
I’ve got a problem with my vision,
not because you’re six-foot-three.
It’s not anything about you, person in the pew,
it’s what’s inside of me. Don’t move.

I need to be
centered in God,
right in line.
Fed by love that’s grown on the vine.
Feeding other believers as they feed me
and seeing what God sees.
I’ve got to move.

I can’t sit around and wait until I’m more spiritual,
or whatever it is that I think I’m not.
Newton’s first law of motion’s
conflict with my emotions
has to stop.
It’s gotta stop.

Centered in God,
right in line.
Fed by love that’s grown on the vine.
Feeding other believers as they feed me
and starting to see what God sees.
I have to move.

That habit of independence,
that lie I believed,
that a lone ranger Christian
is just as or more free
restricted my use in the body of Christ
and hobbled what God could do with me.
Then I moved.

Centered in God,
right in line.
Fed by love that’s grown on the vine.
Feeding other believers as they feed me
and starting to see what God sees.
On the move.

Meeting face to face in a small group
and not treating church like entertainment I subscribe to.
Instead of holding up point scores for sermons every Sunday,
I’m now a functioning part of the body.
Hey brother in the front pew,
turn around.
I’m glad to know you.

© Joel Tipple
#11/14

The Body

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God, do you need me?
I’ve been wondering lately.
I’ve read I have a part to play,
but it just isn’t clear to me.

Trust in me, child. The body needs you.
If you listen and obey, I’ll show you how I choose.
The vision won’t seem clear, not certain from the start,
but a plant of faith has taken root in the soil of your heart.

But what about my limitations?
God, you don’t even know!
If I don’t have faith in me, how can you tell me it’s so?
That I can be of some use in the body of Christ?
Are you sure I’m not just a broken device?

Pick up your bible, child.
Read of great women and men.
They often failed at the beginning, but achieved great ends.
Then look closely at the other folks who were used in support.
Without them the endings would be quite different sorts.

Stepping out now, I choose to move and serve.
If I just take without giving, it’s his body I hurt.
God already chose me, the plan in place from the start.
It’s not all clear to me yet, but I can see the better part.

© Joel Tipple
#9/14