Sore Thumb

by Danielle N. Hall 


Being different has been historically viewed as a negative. Whether it is a birth feature, a behavioral difference, or a matter of a choice of style…people tend to critically view these things and shun them. I submit to you that we were each uniquely designed to stand out with respect to individual purpose, yet be on one accord in heart. 

At the tender age of 2, I must have grasped ahold of this notion of being born to stand out. I had even found another way to spell “out”. Despite hearing my grandmother say: “O-U-T, OUT!” I’d discovered a way to spell it that had a different ring to it: “O-T-T, OUT!”. Soon I discovered that I was in error 😊. However, as time progressed, I found myself participating in spelling bees with children who were older than I. This was largely in part because I was afforded the privilege of taking classes with others who were in a higher grade until I reached the 2nd semester of my 3rd grade year; at that point, I was skipped to the next grade. While everyone was not as welcoming of this privilege, I’m truly grateful.

Here’s something important to note: though we are uniquely designed to stand out with respect to purpose, it does require others to help you achieve that purpose. Consider this: if you pioneer an organization for the cause of meeting a specific need, in order for the purpose of that organization to be fulfilled you will (at minimum) need the people who you endeavor to help. Be careful to not confuse being outstanding with being independent. The following scripture may better convey the point I’m attempting to make:

How would a giant eye be able to hear? And if the entire body were an ear, how would an ear be able to smell? This is where God comes in. God has meticulously put this body together; He placed each part in the exact place to perform the exact function He wanted. If all members were a single part, where would the body be? So now, many members function within the one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:17-19 (VOICE)

As a member of the body of Christ, I may be an eye. I say this because it’s been my experience to see something that may otherwise be insignificant and I get an encouraging message from it. This particular writing is an example of one such experience. Below is a picture that I took to capture the moment that would later develop into this writing.

While in my vehicle, after having finished a delicious portion of spicy kale, I looked for a bag to dispose of the trash. I typically keep one in the car, but on that particular day I didn’t have one. In an effort to try to make the trash more contained, I attempted to bend the fork I was using so that it would fit in the container. I was unpleasantly surprised at how strong this fork was; I was trying to get this container sealed and was encountering all types of resistance from the fork. I bent it and turned it in so many directions…to no avail. At that moment it occurred to me: the fork wasn’t designed to fit in that container and that’s why it was standing out! Immediately, I said to myself: “Self, you have to take a picture of this and share about being designed to stand out.” I had no idea what I’d write or when I’d write it, but I got up early this morning and began to type and this message is the result. 

My friends and I often joke about how I see common things and get a message out of it, but it’s a perfect example of having unique, individual purpose. Embrace the gifts that God has given you and don’t be afraid to be like the proverbial “sore thumb”. I leave you with this final thought:

Now you collectively are Christ’s body, and individually you are members of it each with his own special purpose and function…And if one member suffers, all the parts share the suffering; if one member is honored, all rejoice with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27, 26 

Strength In Unity

by Danielle N. Hall


When I walked out to leave for work yesterday, I observed that my rear driver’s side tire had gone flat. Mind you, I already have one plugged tire and had recently replaced the rear passenger tire with a used one. At any rate, I enlisted the help of a uniformed passerby who was kind enough to apply my spare tire and who refused to accept the money I tried to offer. He mentioned that I needed to replace all 4 tires and get an alignment to avoid future uneven wearing. I’d just recently received the same recommendation when I went to have an oil change. Not that I was trying to delay, but the way my bank account is set up…

Fast forward to the evening. I went to a tire business after work to inquire about the cost of 4 new tires. It was significantly less than what had been quoted to me at the place where I received the oil change. This was pretty much a no brainer. I decided to go ahead and get the issue resolved there. I went inside as the work was being done and in about 5 minutes, the manager said: “You’re ready.” I was perplexed. I said you mean you mean it’s finished and then he affirmed. CLEARLY, this was the result of teamwork. 

“Strength In Unity”

As with most of my daily experiences and observations, I get a lesson or encouragement. Yesterday’s experience was a reminder of the strength in, and power of, unity: we can achieve so much when we work together. I’m still in awe of how quick the work was completed and am encouraged to be an even better team player. 

Here’s a final thought for your consideration:
“Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in unselfish love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others.]” Colossians 3:14 (VOICE)