The brown-eyed girl
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body…But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13,18 (NIVUK)
Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) was born in Northern Ireland of devout parents. As a little girl she had one big disappointment: her entire family had brilliant blue eyes but hers were brown. When three years old Amy was told by her mother that God answered prayer, so that night she begged and pleaded with God to change the colour of her eyes to blue. The following morning, she rushed to the bathroom, climbed a stool strategically placed in front of a mirror, only to face the bitter disappointment of seeing two deep brown eyes staring back at her. Eventually she learned a vital lesson – that God does answer prayer but sometimes he says ‘no’. Later, when converted, she dedicated her life to the service of God and humanity and God said ‘yes’ to prayer many times.1
One day, when she was working as a missionary in India, a little girl was brought to Amy by an Indian woman. The little girl had escaped from the temple the child had been sold to by the mother and there she was being prepared and taught all the degradation of temple prostitution.2 She now realised why she had been born with deep brown eyes and why God had said ‘no’ to her prayer – her eyes were the same colour as the indigenous population, and she could disguise herself as a local and rescue many of the children who had been dedicated to the temple gods. Subsequently her heartfelt prayers to God were answered and funds were supplied to build and staff an orphanage for these children.
We can be like Amy and want to be, in some way, made differently, perhaps to have different talents and abilities. As the header scripture states, we are parts – or members – of Christ’s one body. We are not called to be an eye or an ear, or any other body part, by accident, for it is God who ‘has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.’ (v.18). God has not made a mistake in giving us certain natural and spiritual gifts. Let’s grow and develop the talents God has entrusted us with, and use those gifts wisely to serve God and humanity.
Father, we thank you that by your grace you have called us, help us to grow into the person you created us to be, to serve you and humanity. Amen.
Study by Eddie Marsh
2 Amy Carmichael: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions 1867-1951
About the writer:
Eddie Marsh attends the Sheffield congregation of Grace Communion International.
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