By Ricky Chelette
“Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.” – Exodus 35:30-35
I wasn’t normal growing up, at least I didn’t think I was. My mom and dad were mere teenagers when they had me and I was a very precocious little boy. By five I was entertaining family and friends with songs I’d memorized from the radio or musicals I watched with my mom. I was far more interested in art and music than I was contact sports. There weren’t a lot of kids in my neighborhood growing up, but there were lots of retired adults. I loved sitting on their porches and having conversations about life, politics, events, weather or what they use to do for a living. I thought it was normal because it was all I knew.
But when I got to school and began interacting with the other boys, I realized my interests were very different than theirs and they wasted no time pointing it out. While they wanted to play football and kickball, I was more interested in the carpenter ants that occupied the big oak in the middle of the play yard, or the conversations happening under the porte-cochère. It didn’t take long for some of the boys to call me names. It was clear to me. I wasn’t a boy like they were, or so I thought.
The beautiful thing about God is that He has a much broader definition of masculine than the one our culture often portrays. In this passage in Exodus we see God creating men with specific gifts to make the temple of God a beautiful place of worship – gifts of intelligence, stone setting, and cutting, woodcarving, engraving, designing and even embroidering. These men were not second-class citizens because they were gifted in ways that today might consider more feminine gifts than masculine ones. They were simply God’s men, created by God and gifted by God to do His work for His glory.
In a world were people want to marginalize, categorize, and compartmentalize everything and everyone, it is great to know our Heavenly Father has a much broader view of masculine and feminine than the picture the world might paint.
I am still not a great sports’ fan, though I can enjoy watching a game. I am still more interested in art and music, aesthetics and prose, and beauty and nature than am I in who is in the latest playoff bout for the sport of the season. But none of those things make more or less a man of God. They simply point to aspect of my Father, reflected in me, and created to give Him glory.
So if you see the little kid in church or at the playground or on the school campus who seems to walk to the beat of a different drummer, just know that he just might and that is perfectly fine. Encourage his gifts, celebrate his talents, and affirm his place in brotherhood of men.
If you are that guy know that you are not an accident, not a mistake, not some weirdo or freak of nature, but God’s beloved son in whom He has placed an aspect of His creative character. Through you He desires to bless the world and bring glory to His Name. Embrace your giftings. Celebrate your unique perspective on the world. Use your talents to further the Kingdom and help the world see the extraordinary beauty found in the most ordinary life.