2018-09-14 / Chaplain's News

Eyeballs are equal to elbows

Chaplain ( Lt. Col.) Joe Hammiel
15th Signal Brigade

In God’s economy, eyeballs are equal to elbows. In the Bible, God compares individuals in His Kingdom to parts of a human body (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-31). He makes it clear that each part, even one that seems insignificant, is important to the overall health and performance of the body. Eyeballs are equal to elbows!

As I write this article, it has been 74 years since the Allied invasion at Normandy (also known as D-Day). As we reflect on the Servicemembers who bravely came together to liberate those held captive by the tyranny of the Nazi regime, the reality of this truth seems even more poignant. Men and women from all walks selflessly came together as a unified team a body, if you will, and each fulfilled his or her function in bringing freedom and joy to millions who knew only oppression and fear.

Back in 1994, I got to know one of those selfless men firsthand in the mountains of western North Carolina. Right after graduating from seminary and awaiting God’s call to serve in a local church, I volunteered at a small church in Canton, North Carolina.

One Sunday morning, I was introduced to a soft-spoken 72-year-old farmer named Max. Though I found Max to be giving and generous (always sharing corn and tomatoes from his garden), he was also very quiet and unassuming – and if first impressions count for anything, Max seemed a very unlikely candidate to play a significant part in his community, much less the world.

But my first impressions could not have been further from the truth. When they found out that I had served almost eight years on active duty before going to seminary, some of the older men in my Bible study class began to drop hints about Max’s background.

One man mentioned that Max had actually been one of the Soldiers who participated in the invasion on D-Day and had won our nation’s highest honor – the Congressional Medal of Honor!

Even when I asked Max about the details, he only shared a little, clearly desiring to move out of the spotlight of my attention. (For more details about Max Thompson’s contribution, follow this link: http://www.history.army.mil/html/ moh/wwII-t-z.html)

To look at him, one would never guess that Max Thompson was a hero (and he would never describe himself that way – real heroes rarely do), but at just the right place, in just the right time.

Max took the talents and gifts he had been given, and selflessly used them to take his part in the greater design. And countless others, who may never have been recognized, did the same as Max, and played their part on the team until ultimately we achieved the goals of victory in Europe and Japan.

The truth is that every one of us has been given unique talents and gifts, and each gift is important in fulfilling the mission set before us.

Each part of the whole is indispensable for accomplishing the mission, and it’s only as we bring our distinctive contributions to the table that we can truly be a blessing to those we serve.

So no matter who you are or what role you play, your part is necessary and important. Eyeballs are equal to elbows!

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