Back to Black

In the film Back to Black, the biopic of Amy Winehouse, the character of Amy says several times that it is not about the money. It’s about the music. And what she can bring to it, and when the record company wants to shape her style and image she rejects that, and risks walking away from it all. She wants to do this as herself, not some manufactured star. She was an extraordinary singer and performer, totally unique, and with a great gift.

The bible celebrates uniqueness, not least when Paul writes about the various body parts in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, body parts which end up arguing amongst themselves because of their differences. I think he was using a comedic idea here to highlight something vital. Can you imagine an eye arguing with an ear? Or a liver having a go at a kidney? It’s bizarre and would make a funny cartoon. Yet so often we misunderstand each other, and disagree, simply because we are called to be different people with our different experiences and gifts. Paul takes pains too to say that many of us have gifts which are not so prominent or exalted, and how vital these gifts are. The hard skin under our feet is not pretty, but it enables us to move forward. Some of us are the hard skin in the body of Jesus on this earth.

The body is full of parts which we don’t consider to be attractive, and yet we could not survive without them. You are unique, carefully designed by a loving Creator, you are not an accident, or here by chance, you are known and loved. And called by Jesus to follow him as yourself. Matthew was not Mary, and Thomas was not Tabitha. They followed Jesus and he injected his life and spirit into their personalities. You and I have gifts, let’s pray that we can come to God today as we are, inviting him into all that we are, that we might offer all that we are, without trying to copy someone else.

As a birthday card I received once said, why blend in when you were born to stand out?

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