#125 "Broken Wings and Misfit Things"
December 11, 2007
"Jesus heard about it and spoke up, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I'm here inviting outsiders, not insiders—an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out." (Luke 5: 31-32 The Message)
Chuck and I were taking a break from putting up the Christmas tree and I came upon a snow globe with a manger scene inside. Sitting atop the globe is an angel. Because I'm Polish I have wiped and cleaned Ms. Angel so well that in the process I broke both of her wings and her hand. I told Chuck that there must be a message in that pathetic scene. Because my mind works in ways that most people's don't, I then started to think about how my Pastor calls our little congregation "The Church of the Misfit Toys".
In the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the characters visit the "Island of Misfit Toys", an island sanctuary where defective and unwanted toys are sent. Here they meet "King Moonracer", a lion with wings, "Misfit Elephant" who has polka dots, a misfit cowboy who rides an ostrich and a train with square wheels on its caboose. There's a toy boat that sinks rather than floats; a squirt gun that shoots grape jelly; a bird with the characteristics of a fish who swims instead of flies, an airplane that can't fly and a bear that rides a bike. Misfits indeed. Defective and unwanted. Do those two words in any way, shape or form, describe your church? According to Jesus, they should.
Jesus tells us that it's the sick who need a doctor. That He calls the outsiders...not the perfect, beautiful people. Those who have been labeled, rejected and discarded. Those who most of society have written off as useless and untouchable. Remember the upstanding words of the Pharisees? "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Might I paraphrase and say, "Why do you hang out with the misfits?" I don't know about you, but it seems to me that Jesus prefered those misfits to those who seemed to have it all together. I think He called them a brood of vipers.
My very favorite Misfit Toy has to be Hermey the Misfit Elf. Hermey prefers studying dentistry to making toys. He has a dream and a vision locked up on the inside of him, just screaming to come out. Does that resonate with anyone out there? You have a passion deep down in your spirit and you're frustrated because you don't seem to be able to work it out in the natural. You know who you were made to be on the inside, but life goes on without ever seeing your dream come to pass. Maybe you feel out of place in your own skin, because there is so much more being birthed in the inner man than what seems to be happening on the outside.
Or what about "Charlie-In-The-Box"? He looks like a normal jack-in-the-box, but he was misnamed. What have people named you? Even though I have not practiced as a registered nurse for over 20 years, my mother always feels the need to introduce me as her daughter, "the RN". I guess that brings her more pride than the fact that I'm a Bible teacher and that I speak and preach. Go figure! For whatever reason, she doesn't want to know who I really am. What about you? Has someone named you "poor", "weak", "stupid", "fat" or "ugly"? Do you look normal on the outside, but have deep wounds on the inside from what you've been named by other people?
Misfits, discards...flawed and rejected. Tossed out like yesterday's newspaper because we just don't fit in. At least the toys were fortunate enough to be taken to a place where everybody had a problem. Their mixture of defects all blended together and allowed them to function in their own individual ways. On the "Island of Misfit Toys". Wish we had a place like that! But wait, we do! Right smack in the middle of the Body of Christ.
The apostle Paul writes this in 1 Corinthians 1: 27-29: "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." God chose the "misfits". He didn't just get stuck with us...He chose us. The verb "chose" means that God selected us from a number of possibilities. He picked us by preference. He preferred, wanted and desired the "foolish, weak, lowly and despised things" of the world. And He puts us together like a beautiful needlepoint picture. On the back are all the flaws and ties and cuttings, but to the viewer's eye the picture is magnificent. The Body of Christ, made out of "misfit toys", is magnificent to behold!
Back to my angel....She inspires me to fulfill my calling with broken dreams, broken wings and broken hands. God can use me in spite of my flaws and weaknesses. And He can use you too. I will sit atop the "manger" and proclaim the highest, greatest, sweetest Name that I know, the Name of Jesus Christ...broken wings and all. I may be a "misfit", but I'm HIS "misfit". So are you...and He loves us best!
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