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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)

TITLE: Useless Appendage
By Shanta Richard


One day while brushing my teeth I chanced to look into the mirror over my wash basin. I noticed that only four fingers were doing the brushing. The little pinky was curled up and looked forlorn and abandoned. The other four fingers did not need her and could function very well without her. If she tried to help it would be more of a hindrance than a help. Plainly she was not wanted; she was just a useless appendage of the body.

It suddenly struck me that I was no better than that that little pinky. Respectfully retired and cast out on the curb, I watched the traffic swiftly pass by. No one seemed to care that I was standing there. I was cast out of the busy work force and no longer useful – just a useless appendage of society.

That sounded really depressing and I knew that was not true. God had a plan for my life and had created me for that purpose. Two things convinced me that I was not a useless appendage. First of all the Bible says that, “God saw everything that He created and behold it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31.KJV), which would include me. If I am very good it follows that I cannot be a useless appendage.
Secondly God is very precise and particular concerning measurements. He gave specific measurements for building Noah’s Ark. He spoke face to face with Moses when He spelled out the measurements for the Ark of the Covenant. He rolled out the blue print and showed Solomon the exact measurements of His Temple that He wanted him to build.

Evidently He would have been just as specific when He measured me to fit my place in His plan. He must have measured my height, weight, my build, and my form. Then He would have measured into me the strength, the wisdom and the energy that I would need to successfully complete His assignment for my life. Then He would have anointed me with His Holy Spirit and sent me into this world.

Having said that I believe age cannot deprive me of my potential to be useful. I have to measure up to God’s investment in me. If I do not have strength and vitality, I do have faith and wisdom that I have gained from experiencing the comfort and guidance of His Word and the joy and abiding mercy of His presence through all these years. In the Bible Peter said to the cripple at the beautiful gate of the Temple of God, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”(Acts of the Apostles 3:6.KJV) Even though I may not be gifted enough to cure a cripple I may still be able to reach out my hand and pull up some one whose faith is crippled and give him hope to stand up and rejoice in God’s faithfulness and love.
God measures the usefulness of a life not in units of worldly achievements but in what has been done in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth for the glory of His Kingdom. God has a specific purpose for everything He has created and there is no such thing called ‘useless appendage’.

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This article has been read 276 times
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/20/13
You have a fantastic opening. I totally loved it and almost went into the bathroom to see how i hold my toothbrush (but I thought it could wait until i finished commenting) I also think you did a grand job of transition from the opening and being useless to your main message.

The only red ink is that you used the word measure quite a bit. Often when I see that, I think the writer might have been nervous that the reader wouldn't see the story as being on topic. Have faith in yourself because your story was on topic and would have still been even if you didn't use the word measure at all.

I could so relate to the MC in this piece, even right down to the pinkie. Because of my illness, I have lost the feeling in my fingers on my left time. I often will see typos that my pinkie had made without me realizing it. But even though it's annoying, that little finger is still apart of me and is important in shaping who I am. I may think it's useless, but God is using it in ways I might not ever imagine. You did a fantastic job with this piece. (Now I'm going to see how I brush my teeth:) )
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/20/13
Just thought I'd share, I use the pinkie for brushing the top but not the bottom. This has to have relevance--maybe it's not an useless appendage :)
Laury Hubrich 01/22/13
This is an interesting entry. You have me wondering just what I use my pinky finger for and then I did - I use it lots in typing:) We all are needed for the Kingdom of God, for sure. It doesn't matter our age. Lots of mentoring needs to be done for those young'uns. I love God's most excellent plan! Thanks for sharing!
C D Swanson 01/22/13
Wow this was deeply profound. Good job and nice way to get the reader thinking. Creative!

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/24/13
Congratulations on ranking eighth in level 2! I think of your story everytime I brush my teeth:-)