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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: The Invisible Man
By TJ Nickel


My wife says I have the gift of tongues, itís called karaoke, and sheís very thankful for the screen providing the interpretation. I suppose Paul was right, without it Iíd sound like a gong.

So, that gift being what it is, and my wonderful wifeís lack of informing of me about the nature of this gift prior to trying out for choir, resulted in our little startup church electing to not fill that fourth singing slot. I guess the big plans for the quartet werenít so big after all.

I showed a bit of promise as a theologian so the elders asked me to step in and lead four others in a menís study each week. Within three weekís, Pastor Davis called me into his office to help him answer the emails from this quartet of men. Apparently, informing them that God isnít both omniscient and omnipotent because knowing everything prevents the power to learn wasnít wise counsel.

So, that gift being what it is, the elders asked me to be a fifth wheel. Of course, Iíd managed to lose half the men in three weeks, so I became a third. God must be teaching us about his triune nature, because he doesnít seem to like foursomes in our church.

The gift I received from the Spirit was the gift of invisibility. I looked all over for it in the Bible and for some ironic reason I couldnít find it. Itís hidden in their somewhere Iím sure, because I get this haunting feeling like thereís some Ghostly part of Godís revelation of himself to be comprehended. Canít seem to find it specifically, but I really think thatís my gift: invisibility.

Invisibility works hand in hand with omnipresence. Being one enables the other. Thatís how God does it, Iím pretty sure. See I was brought up the seventh of thirteen children. Youíd think lucky number seven would be a good place to be and poor number thirteen would be the cursed one. God does like twelveís. Turns out the middle guy becomes invisible and the double sixes fold on top of one another perfectly, and number seven is the bookís binding. Thereís no page for me in there, but Iím glued to everyone of them somehow and some way. When weíre looked at as a group, Iím the one people see staring them in the face as a label or representative of our family, but when you open up the story I canít be found anywhere, as though Iíve been erased or turned into some ghost.

I tried finding a way to serve the church, and the world for that matter, where the gift of invisibility and omnipresence was a core component of the service. Turns out thereís only one such thing for such a person. Thatís why I write.

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Member Comments
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LauraLee Shaw11/29/07
Wow, what a powerful and effective testimony! I hope the invisible man will do some more study on what gifts the Bible mentions. I'm sure he encourages others without even realizing it. I'm sure he serves others without making a big deal out of it, and I feel QUITE certain that this man uses his writing to teach others sometimes. Hmmmm....sounds like He has suddenly made his appearance known. :) This was really thought-provoking. Oh, and the Bible says to make a "joyful" noise, not a pretty one, so keep up the karaoke!
Jan Ackerson 11/29/07
My favorite kind of writing is self-deprecating, witty, and intelligent, and this piece has the trifecta! And I also love that it came back to writing--may not be in any of the Biblical lists of gifts, but it is undeniably a gift, nevertheless. Clever and entertaining writing here.
Laury Hubrich 12/01/07
Very nice and great title. Thank you so much for sharing!
Dee Yoder 12/04/07
As always, this is really good, and I enjoyed reading your take on the gift of being invisible. I've felt like that book spine myself in my family, at times! (The middle of three) Love the descriptions and the turns of phrases in your work.
Temple Miller12/04/07
It started as a giggle, then a cackle, on to a laugh, and then a deep belly guffaw. At times, I couldn't read because my laptop was bouncing. Wonderfully entertaining. I loved it.
Shelley Ledfors 12/04/07
I love this! The humor is great, but there is a good message, too. One of my favorites!
Chrissi Dunn12/05/07
Very interesting. It's true that writing is like an 'invisible' gift. With the removal of some minor punctuation mistakes at the beginning, this would make a great devotional. Well done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/05/07
I loved the tongue-in-cheek humor in this very creative piece.
Sara Harricharan 12/05/07
Okay-ROFL! This is hilarious and I can really relate to this, feeling invisible and actually being invisible, it seems. Loved the touch of humor and especially your last line. That was just perfect! This is one of my favorites for this week!
LaNaye Perkins12/05/07
This was so funny. I have spent my whole life basically feeling invisible. Too funny. Well done.
Temple Miller12/06/07
I'm having a difficult time trying to find a red pen comment. Your book analogy is terrific, as is your word play. Humor is difficult to write, but you've nailed it. You stick to your theme. And you emphathize with readers who've not yet found their gifts. Thus, encouraging them. I really can't find anything I'd change. Great writing!
Peter Stone12/06/07
Very funny - you made me laugh a few times, especially trying to find the gift of invisibility in the Bible, which of course being invisible, could not be found.