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  • janetmchenry

From Nothing to Something

“Words. Words. Words.”

A famous line spoken by Hamlet–one of my favorite lines from Shakespeare.

Words fascinate me. How can something hurt but also heal? Enlighten but also confuse? Make something out of seemingly nothing?

Examine this from my reading today:

“Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” –1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Well, that stopped me in my reading tracks. All that antithesis packed into one sentence–word opposites closely juxtaposed.

Makes you ponder a bit, yes?

God chose:

– fools to shame the wise guys

– weak people to shame the strong ones

That I can understand, but the next clause really made me think: “God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are.”

If there are people who are low and despised and even considered “nothing,” who would those people be?

So, my mind immediately went to the freeway exit from I-80 to Keystone Avenue, the exit we take when we drive to our church. Typically, there are two or three vagrants there with cardboard signs asking for money. And it occurred to me that I remember not a single face. I can picture the typical garb and backpack lying on the ground and even a small dog perhaps . . . but not a single face.

I also remember what my friend June used to say, “I always think, ‘He has a mother.'”

She would humanize those folks standing on a two-foot-wide median between rushing traffic, whereas I’ve typically seen them as traffic hazards.

However, after reading this passage from Corinthians, it occurred to me, “He has a Father, too.” My heavenly Father created him just as He created me. He has two hands, two feet, a heart, and a face, as do I.

Faith takes all kinds of nothingness to a family of somethings. Each of us is immediately elevated to royalty. In a faith instant we are adopted into the greatest family.

There are all kinds of ways to give to those in need this Christmas season. I could count a dozen or more immediately. Faith requires me, I think, to see faces of family as I look at those in need–whether they are behind the mailer in my mailbox or on the street corner with a cardboard sign.

After all, I am well aware of my own lowly estate that has been elevated to something that is. And I am thankful.

Janet McHenry is still figuring out who she is. A couple things she knows, though, are that she is a child of the Most High God . . . and that he has called her to write and speak. The author of 24 books, you can connect with her at

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