There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same LORD. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. I Corinthians 12:4-6
One of my favorite children’s books is Frederick, Leo Leonni’s story of a little field mouse who might be perceived as a lazy, do-nothing. Throughout the summer all the other mice are toiling diligently, preparing for winter. They are gathering food and storing it to sustain themselves throughout those long months. But as Frederick’s friends pass him by carrying heavy loads of grain, he is peacefully sitting on a rock looking about and absorbing the rays of the sun. Frederick suggests that he, also, is preparing for the winter although his efforts are not obvious to anyone else.
After months of hard work, the fierce winter and cold winds drive the little mouse community into their underground refuge. Stashes of seeds and grains are brought out, and everyone shares. Suddenly, someone remembers, “Frederick, what did you gather for the dark winter days?” And little Frederick, whose dreamy eyes have baffled them all, begins to describe the marvelous colors and sights he has gathered, the wonderful words, and paints his lovely pictures of the sun and the beauty of nature all around. As he speaks, the grayness of the long winter dissipates, and his poetry carries them through the harsh reality above ground.
We, too, need to look around to find the Fredericks in our midst. They are those who, no matter how difficult the circumstance, can always be depended upon to remind us to think about and to remember those things that are beautiful, pure, true, honest (Phil 4:8). They remind us of God’s promises and his presence with us. They may not always be in the forefront of the latest church project or community volunteer program, but they’re watching all the time and storing up God’s faithfulness to remind us during our dark days.
God has spread his gifts widely and has given each of us a role in his Kingdom. We’re not to judge nor measure another’s worth by our initial perception. God needs worker bees and those who are readily noticed for their energies, but he also needs Fredericks who take time to sit, to meditate, to wait, and to watch God at work. We need those Fredericks who, in our winter days, lift our spirits to see and hear and remember God’s goodness.
Identify the Fredericks in your life and keep them close at hand.
Father, thank you for those in my life who continue to speak of your beauty, your mercy, your love, your grace, and all things that cheer me onward. AMEN.