"But the final answer to all feelings of inferiority is to remind yourself
that your God loves, redeems, pardons, restores, protects, keeps,
and uses misfits, outsiders, and failures no less than he does beautiful people
of the kind that keep crossing your path and
of whom you have been wishing you were one.
~ J.I. Packer
The children were laughing with delight as the Juggler tripped and rolled to the hip hoppity music he played on his small instrument. He made funny faces and pretended to be careless, dropping the balls he would juggle. The little man so enjoyed to hear the laughter of his young crowd that he even performed beyond his own abilities, surprising himself along the way. He always wore a funny sort of outfit to enhance his ridiculousness and to advance his appearance of hilarity. The children, of course, loved it and him. Even the simple minded enjoyed his show from time to time. Others put up with the Juggler and either pretended not to see or just ignored his show. The parents of the children would have to stay, somewhat embarrassed, to be seen in close proximity to such foolishness.
The Juggler knew this, of course, and in moments of solitude would rehearse over and over again the seeming rejection in his mind. He never wanted to be silly or useless. The little man, like most humans, wanted to be respected and well thought of. In reality, he wanted more than that. It was appreciation that he craved and the need to be useful. Always, he felt like he was imposing himself on the crowd, forcing his way into acceptance. It never really worked though and he would go to his home with the same feelings of rejection.
No one was out and out mean to him. But it was as if he were invisible. The Juggler had tried other means of employment but he darned near starved to death. At least being a juggler he had food on the table even though it wasn't much. Day after day he would try and think of ways to be more than what he was but then at the end of the day he would come with nothing to show for it. The little man was ashamed to admit that he wondered why God had made him this way. Perish the thought that anyone would know what was going on in his mind. Better to play the happy Juggler with appearances of not having a care in the world than for people to know how deeply he struggled with his feelings of inadequacy. He really was quiet miserable.
All that changed on the morning when the Master Commander came to see him. The little man was getting ready for his daily show. He was putting on the silly hat with a bell on it. Every time he moved his head the bell would tinkle so there was constant noise. It wasn't a terrible clang but just a small tinkle. By the end of the day, though, he would have a headache from the ongoing tinkle, tinkle, tang, tinkle. The Juggler was thinking on this as there was a knock at the door. He almost missed it as he was in such thoughts about the tinkle on his head. But there it was, "knock, knock and then another knock-bang". He jumped, not sure what to do. Because, you see, no one ever knocked on his door. His movements were such that he almost tripped over his own feet. So by the time he actually got to the door he was out of breath. When he opened the door the little bit of breath he did have was sucked inside his diaphragm so as not to be able to speak.
The MC smiled and one could feel the love and kindness ooze out of Him toward the juggler. The most amazing words came out of the Lord's mouth. The little man stood there with eyes wide open and mouth almost dropping to the floor. "I need your help, my little friend. Is it possible to take a moment of your time to hear what I have to say?".