“Not to us, O Lord, not us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.”  Psalm 115:1

“By the grace given to me say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement.”  Romans 12:3  

The past few weeks we have cheered Olympic athletes as they crossed the Finish Line, climbed onto the podium, and kissed a gold medal.  Strength, endurance, airborn twists and turns.  How can they do that?!  I marvel at the aesthetic grace of the human body, able to do such amazing things, and yes, our own everyday tasks we take for granted.  We are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  Each of us, “knit together in our mother’s womb”, blessed with various gifts … athletes, surgeons, pianists … also car mechanics, roofers, garbage haulers … and “Special Olympians”.  Some hear more applause than others, but all are needed.  Healthy self-esteem is important, feeling worthwhile and needed.  It is important to affirm one another and praise the gifts each has been given and acknowledge the service they provide. 

It is easy to glorify God cradling an infant, observing the innate urges to lift its head, raise up on hands and knees, stand and put one foot in front of the other … and years later, step onto a podium perhaps, play a concerto, develop a vaccine.  It’s harder to see the image of God in the mirror when our backs are tired and our joints stiff; or the cancer has spread.  “Call upon me in the day of your troubles; I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me”.  Still … not so easy. 

Beyond amazing physical abilities, we are blessed with the ability to reason and learn.  And to God’s greatest glory we are made with the capacity to love and care for one another – the image of God indeed – to use our gifts for the good of others, all to God’s glory.  

“I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  You have blessed us with various abilities and talents.  Help us see and respect those with disabilities.  Help us understand.  Fill us with compassion.  Guide us to opportunities to assist others with the gifts you have so abundantly bestowed upon us.  Amen  

Verla Olson