Yesterday morning I was reading about a really interesting ministry. This guy named Jeremy Cowart who lives out in Seattle decided that he wanted to make a difference with his photography skills and abilities. He started an event called 'Help-Portrait.' The event started in 2009 and it drew 10,000 photographers together to photograph homeless citizens, single mothers and their children, former inmates, etc. They took 42,000 portraits of people and for many of them it was the first time they had ever been photographed. What Jeremy discovered was that by simply giving a single mom and their kids a nice, professional family portrait it breathed a little bit of dignity and hope into their life. Another powerful result of this event was the opportunity these people and the photographers had to hear about each other's journeys and life stories as they were hanging out together in the studio.
I was reminded of a passage in Romans 12:5-9a that says, 'so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without hipocrisy (without pretending)...' I love this passage because it makes it clear that we have all been given a unique set of gifts. This passage also makes it clear that there are way more gifts in the body of Christ than just preaching a sermon or singing a praise song. Every gift and ability that you have can be dedicated to Christ and used to pour out compassion in unique ways to a hope-starved world around you. The question before us today is will we simply sit on those gifts and use them for our own gain and benefit or will we be creative like Jeremy Cowart and use our gifts to make a difference in the lives of the people around us?