My uncle is a Baptist minister and we looked forward to going to visit and spend time with our cousins. On each of our trips, we would attend church along with the rest of the family.
My uncle pastored one particular church that we visited on one of our trips that stands out in my mind. It isn’t because of its location or because there was anything “special” about the church. Rather I remember this church because of one of its members.
I knew right away there was something “special” about this member but I didn’t really understand what it was as a young boy. Now that I am older, I have an understanding of what was special about this member and God has taught me about “special members” of the church.
The person I am referring to is named Tony. Although he was much older than all of us younger kids physically, he was still a kid at heart and in his mind.
You see, Tony was a Down’s syndrome person. I don’t want to say that he suffered from Down’s syndrome because he never seemed to be suffering. Tony always sat on the front pew and when the choir would start singing, Tony would open a hymnal and begin to direct the choir.
I remember sitting about three seats down from him and looking over at him as he waved his arms and the people sang. I thought it was funny and Tony smiled in his joyous way of serving the Lord and just kept right on.
As a little boy, I thought Tony was funny and not really doing anything other than possibly being a little distracting at times.
I’m afraid even a lot of adults may think this way today.
I have heard people refer to “special needs people” as a burden or call them hopeless. God has taught me that every, and I emphasize every, human is important to Him. If the human race isn’t important to God, then why did He give His only begotten son to pay out sin debt?
I believe that within Tony’s child-like mind, he never reached the age of accountability. (By this I am referring to that time when a child realizes that he/she is a sinner and without accepting Jesus as his/her Savior and repenting of his/her sin, he/she will go to Hell.)
Therefore Tony is safe from the eternal judgment of God and he will inherit the kingdom of God. This of course will make him a member of the family of God, also called the church.
The Lord showed me in His word that all members of the “body” are useful and each of us have our own duties. Our eyes can’t smell. Our hands can’t perform like our hands do. So is the same with the body of Christ.
There are preachers, singers, teachers, prayers, encouragers, those who witness, etc.
But what about those members that do not seem like they have much to offer?
In 1 Corinthians 12: 22-24 the Bible says “those members of the body which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor,” and lastly, “God hath tempered the body together having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked.”
So you see, Tony really was special. He never thought of himself that way, he just enjoyed serving the Lord in his own way. Oh, and by the way, Tony never was ashamed of the Lord either; unlike many professing Christians are today.
What I learned was that even though he didn’t look all that important to me, Tony was very important to God. What I couldn’t see him do in this body of Christ wasn’t important because he was doing what God designed him to do and he was doing a great job at it. Great job Tony; you truly are a “special member.”
Our churches would be a lot better off with more members like Tony.
Until next time, God bless.
Tune in to WBCU 103.5 FM Sundays at noon for the Shining Light Broadcast. I preach a 15-minute message that I pray will be a blessing to those who listen.
If you have a prayer concern, comment, or question, please write to: Voice of Victory, Attn: David Burrell, PO Box 1221, Pacolet, SC 29372 or e-mail me at email@example.com.