2020-10-14 - One Body
In the words of Russian theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski, “There are no small roles, there are only small players.” In my estimation Konstantin was not minimizing the players in those roles-quite the opposite. The theatre production relies on each part coming off as it should individually, to create a collectively successful result. I was reminded of this quote in context as I read a chapter in Madeleine L‘Engle‘s Walking on Water: Reflections on faith and Art, 1972. Her chapter contextually included mention of her own participation in a play as an understudy, and her feeling the power of Stanislavski‘s thought. So then came from her mind, “We all feed the lake. That is what is important.” “I was part of the body-that is what it is all about.” On days you or I feel small, such thoughts will come in handy.
When I feel most like I exist is often when I do something creative or I am interacting with creation. After clearing away the last of the sunflowers and thanking them for coming to brighten my world, I pulled the plastic over the soil, to fasten it in place until the spring. While stapling the edges of the soil blanket to the insides of the flower box, I spied what appeared to be tiny red dots, walking along the wood. These bright and beautiful creatures known as Ladybugs were created as a natural pesticide protecting flowers, trees, and even our vegetable gardens from aphids along with other plant eating pests. (https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/) That same source noted these crimson beauties include about five thousand species all around the world, many cultures consider them to be good luck, and that they can consume as many as five thousand aphids and other plant blithe sources in their two to three-year lifespan. I believe God created Ladybugs - tiny but mighty, bold but gentle, and unaware- yet highly important and effective in God‘s plan. They may not have free will as we do, but they are certainly an example of being a part of one body, helping His plan come together. While Ladybugs often go unnoticed, it does not stop them from going about their business without any fanfare other than their brilliant color, warding off their own predators of a foul-tasting (https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/) fate, should they choose them as a snack. Despite their fate being unknown, throughout their lives, they continue to play their part.
So what we ought to question is not if we are a small part, so much as if we are playing the part that was written for us. Sometimes we can get so focused on things like, “do I matter?” or “is this the right path?” that we forget our individual contribution does make a difference. The doubtful thoughts are natural and are often a smokescreen from a dark place that is temporary, not changing the truth of our value. The fact we were created and are here, means we are valuable to our creator. And when we follow the spirit he provides us, it makes us ‘one‘ with Him and each other as our path unfolds. And if a less than pea-sized invertebrate member of the Coccinellidae family of small beetles, also known as Ladybugs, can make such a valuable contribution as part of the body in their short lives-then who are we to second guess ourselves? Keep going. Seek Him with all your heart. He will hear you and make your path plain, even if you have lost your way. It is what He does.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,‘ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NASB)
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.