When I was little (5 or 6 years old), my family visited my Aunt Pam and Uncle David and their kids in Lubbock, Texas. When I was growing up, I was the small kid. Not only was I small, but I was the youngest of the extended family, yes the runt of the litter. We played games almost non-stop it seemed. They had a lot by their house that became a golf course or a baseball diamond. Basketball was played for hours. It was there I stepped on my first skateboard (which later led to a longboard, heaven’s choice of boarding.) Games all the time.
On Sundays, we drove an hour out to a place called Post or Graham, I don’t really remember which. Maybe it was the Graham Church of Christ in Post, because then Graham could be the street, and churches of Christ usually are named after a street or their location in town. Since Post wasn’t large enough to have suburbs, I’m going with the idea that Graham was a street.
Well, I enjoyed the adventure of going somewhere new. The only thing was that we ended up spending the day out there because Uncle David preached the morning service, and the evening service. I remember there was a potluck in between, and then we had about five hours to amuse ourselves out there. I remember playing this game with my cousins that at the time seemed like the coolest game I had ever played. What did we play?
Star Trek. Seriously, we played Star Trek. I didn’t even know anything about Star Trek except there was a guy named Kirk, another one named Bones, and then there was Spock. Well, I wasn’t going to get to be any of the main characters. I was the youngest in the family. I didn’t even know that Spock’s blood was green or that he was a Vulcan.
Then one of my cousins said, “Little David has pointy ears.”
Which made me feel embarrassed. Self-conscious. Like there was something weird about me, and the whole world had definitely noticed that I was different.
Until my cousin continued. “He should be Spock. Little David’s the only one who has ears like Spock. It has to be him.”
At five years old, the way I viewed myself shifted completely. The embarrassment, weirdness, and my sudden self-consciousness vanished.
I was a star. The youngest of the family. I was playing the key part. I wasn’t Little David. I was going to be Spock. I wasn’t going to be left out of the game this afternoon. The thing that I was ashamed of became my pathway to success on that day.
One of the things that I love about the kingdom of God is the way that the things we perceive as different, weird, or the things we’re even self-conscious about become places of our lives that God’s glory shines through brighter.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that “God’s power is perfected in weakness.” And before that in 2 Corinthians 11:30, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”
Your greatest weakness is the greatest opportunity for God’s power to shine through your life. But you won’t reveal the power of God while you’re wearing ear muffs or a toboggan, trying to hide your weakness and cover your own shame. Your shame can be used for God’s glory.
I know , it is never a nice thing for your ears to hear that your ears are pointy…unless you get to be Spock. Then having pointy ears is totally worth it. May you be filled with hope and joy today that God works in your weakness. Or as our old friend Spock would say,
“Live long and prosper.”