Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chopstick + Chopstick = 100%

My various chopsticks...before I learned how to use them
I have always thought that there is something strange about keeping chopsticks on display in my room. It’s like keeping a bundle of forks or spoons on a shelf. Silverware is not meant for display—it’s meant to be a utensil.

I, unfortunately, had been unable to master the skills necessary to actually pick up rice or peas without cramping my fingers or contorting my wrists. So, the beautiful Japanese chopsticks given to me by my grandparents after serving in the Navy in Japan, have elegantly adorned my wall, sadly gathering dust.

But then, this past December, a friend took pity on me and set out to teach me the art of these instruments. “Catherine,” she said, “you have to stop moving both chopsticks. The bottom one has to stay still, you know. You can’t move it.”

A month later, my pastor pointed out what a beautiful illustration that chopsticks are of the missionary and the church.

If both remain completely stationary, then the only things that can be moved must be forced into the preconceived shapes.

If both move… well, I discovered how impossible that made eating nearly anything. I could, of course, resort to wielding just one chopstick, stabbing at food reminiscent of the Minnesota State Fair’s famous “food on a stick,” but that would be rather limiting, don’t you think?

But, when one chopstick—the church—remains stationary, it then provides a solid foundation from which the other moving chopstick—the missionary—can do its work.

One is useless without the other. As soon as I took her advice, I could immediately (and gracefully!) pick up all my food.

My faith goal for full financial support was June 5th—tomorrow. I am delighted to announce that due to your faithfulness and sacrifice, I have now reached 100% of my needed monthly financial support!

Thank you for being that foundational chopstick!

Because, in the hand of God, the possibilities for those chopsticks are beyond imagination.