The first time I read about Albert Schweitzer, I wished I had lived when he lived. When he was a boy he saw a big statue in Champ de Mars, of a reclining African-American, whose feet were in shackles. The very image of that man changed the way Schweitzer viewed the world, and he knew that one day he would go to Africa and share Jesus through his love for the unkindness he had witnessed within the statue.
The statue was made by Bartholdi, who also designed The Statue of Liberty. The big statue was destroyed during the Second World War, but the head was preserved and Schweitzer was able to revisit the statue, time and time again.
The one thing that drew me to him was that he was much like me. He was on a quest to know Jesus. The more he looked, the more he found. The more he found, the more he believed, until one day he woke up and realized that when one sees Jesus there is no denying Him.
Schweitzer, not knowing how God would use him, educated himself in language, art, music, and theology. Then one day he happened to be resting and heard a boom come from his front door. He got up, opened his door and on his porch lied a newspaper from the “The Society Of The Evangelist Missions of Paris” and it read that they were looking for medical doctors in Africa.
So, in 1905, at age 30 he went to medical school, and in 1911 he completed his studies. He was 36 years old and was on his way to doing what his heart knew he would always do. GO TO AFRICA! Schweitzer considered his work as a medical missionary in Africa to be his response to Jesus’ call to become “fishers of men” but also because he never liked the way cruelty was placed on other people.
“Who can describe the injustice and cruelties that in the course of centuries they (the coloured peoples) have suffered at the hands of the Europeans?… If a record could be compiled of all that has happened between the white and the coloured races, it would make a book containing numbers of pagers which the reader would have to turn over unread because their contents would be too horrible.” Albert Schweitzer
Schweitzer went on to open the first hospital in Africa, and did exactly what Jesus put in his heart to do. He went fishing.
As I reflect on this past year I see the world has not changed since Albert Schweitzer left it. There is still cruelty and injustice, but the good thing is that Jesus is still calling all those who will listen to go and change it.
This year my goal is to make sure that my family is taken care of, and that children who are hospitalized and alone, know that they are loved and remembered. That was something God put in my heart when I was a very young, and I can’t seem to shake it no matter how far I run!
Now, if anyone happens to read my tiny blog, just know that Jesus has called you too. There is no job in the world that is unimportant. Everyone who gives a smile to another, just changed the course of the world, and being that today is the last day of the year, and tomorrow begins the new… “HAPPY NEW YEAR! MAY YOU FIND THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART!
1 Corinthians 12
1 Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. 2 You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 3 So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
One Body with Many Parts
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:
first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.
29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? 30 Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! 31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. 1 Corinthians 12: 1-31
ONWARD TO THE NEW YEAR!