I was once interviewed for our college newspaper by a student staff member. Now this young lady, Dena, is going to make a great reporter one day because she really knows how to ask the kind of questions that get to the heart of WHO a person really is. In my interview, she surprised me with a very thought-provoking question about myself. She wanted to know…
If I was one of Snow White’s seven dwarfs, which one would I be?
That question definitely made me stop and think! My first response was, “You mean I can’t be Snow White?” Nope. As a mother of three boys (reminder: boys don’t care much for fairytales), I had to admit that it had been too many years since I’d seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for me to remember all of their names. So to be fair, she let me do a quick Google search on them while we were sitting in my office. My informal study revealed some interesting facts about these characters along with their names – Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sneezy, Bashful, Sleepy and Dopey. Their group picture revealed that Dopey was the only dwarf without a beard, so I figured he might be a reasonable choice on that basis alone; but the caption also reminded me that he was the only dwarf who didn’t speak. (I get that some might suggest I discount Dopey from my list of choices for that reason alone.) I understand that most people don’t want to own up to being Grumpy, but I also figure most people don’t purposely want to be represented as Dopey either – especially when worldly intelligence is so in vogue. Nevertheless…
My choice was made.
Something about this quiet, clumsy little dwarf’s disposition struck me as powerful. He made it easy to look deeply into his heart to define him, rather than thinking about his name or his looks or his eloquence (or lack thereof).
We do the same thing all the time with people that we try to do to Dopey.
We look at the outside appearance, making them out to be someone different than God created them to be. We don’t take time to know their hearts, to recognize their callings. We think it’s bad to be Dopey, when, in fact, Jesus wants his followers to be able to become just that.
As I read about the duties of each of these short-statured gem-miners, I discovered that
Dopey may have been given the most important calling of all.
He was the dwarf who had been assigned the task of cleaning up all of the ‘unusable’ jewels!
Now I ask you – as a Christian in the world, could there be any more admirable calling on my life than this? Is this not what the namesake, Christ, himself, came into the world to do for me – for others? Did He not enter humanity’s story as a tiny, helpless, clumsy baby, seemingly unlikely for such an enormously daunting task? Yet His story reveals to us how powerfully He can mine unusable jewels as He bursts forth from the bowels of the earth to take control over the wages of sin.
I’ve already revealed some great things to you so far about Snow White’s dwarf friend, Dopey.
Yet there’s one other thing that I left out that makes him stand out from the group. Dopey could become quite scared at times, possibly even paralyzed with fear. But in the one moment that truly mattered the most (when Snow White desperately needed help), he was the one who became quite brave and who urged the others to move in the direction that would free Snow White from her captivity and defeat death. You think of the Prince doing all the work; but the truth is, without Dopey’s role in it, the story wouldn’t have had its happy ending.
Jesus never asked his disciples to become brave and rescue him from the cross. (Remember, Peter tried to do just that in the garden, and Jesus stopped him – then Peter became fearful again and ran and lied). Obviously, we aren’t expected to be perfect; we aren’t even expected to be warriors doing battle. What Jesus wants is for us to be brave to tell our own testimonies – to encourage others through their trials. To urge others to His saving grace.
That’s the calling on our lives that matters most.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
– Philippians 4:8-9