If you have some time, go read 1 Corinthians chapters 12 – 14 and notice all the many and varied gifts that the Holy Spirits brings us. Notice also that no one person gets all the gifts. But if we each bring our gift into a community, we have a chance of the community having enough gifts to meet the needs of the community it serves.
I love this about the Holy Spirit and I love communities that practice using these gifts. Our friend who had a vision for hungry children in Africa and dreamed of feeding their tiny tummies had other visions as well.
We all liked to shake our heads at his ability to clear a meeting with his strong opinions, but we LOVED it when there was a storm and he showed up to saw down broken tree branches or advise us on converting from oil to gas heat. He had a gift and he used it.
As we are busy using our gifts, sometimes we’re going to be clumsy. It reminds me of the spring when our friend showed up with his saw and wanted to take down our beautifully blooming Japanese holly tree ( I think that’s what it was called.) At our house, we have an aversion to cutting down pretty trees that are small and offer no threat to our home’s structure. We needed to decline his offer to get rid of this tree that he said was not going to flourish. It turns out he was right – ten years later it did indeed die. Pete had to get rid of it all by himself, but I’m sure “Grandpa Harrington” (as my kids called him) was peering over the precipice of eternity and saying, “I told you so!”
Theis limited individual access to ALL the gifts creates a wonderful fertile environment for mutual interdependence and support. That’s a lovely, if sometimes challenging, thing.
I learned from a pastor who mentored me that with people, it’s all about the 80/20. The 80% you love is always mixed with the 20% you love to hate about a person. You never get the 80%, if you cannot figure out how to navigate justice, mercy, and humility with the 20%.