Snape. Who could have played him as well as Alan Rickman? And if you don’t know Snape or have never heard of Alan, think Harry Potter. Rickman had one of the deepest voices God ever gave a man and he knew how to use it. Therein lay his gift. He played the would be villain in the Harry Potter movies and kudos to the genius who chose him for the part. When the man opened his mouth you listened. What he said might escape you but his voice was like a magnet. You had to stop and listen. He had quite a body of work before Harry Potter, of course. For instance, he was a fabulous Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves back in 1991. You just loved to hate him. Alas, when Rickman died last week, the voice was silenced.
This got me to thinking about the uniqueness of every individual who has ever lived. Each one of us made as though we were Adam. A brand new, never been seen on the world stage before, human being. That’s you and that’s me. The hard part about that idea is figuring out what sets us apart from each other. Why am I different from my sisters or my best friend? How were you gifted differently from a great football player or a world famous sushi chef?
May I suggest that it’s not up to you to decide what your gift is? It’s up to God first and then to others. Hang on – let me explain. Suppose you have the gift of a lovely singing voice. Would you know it if you only sang in the forest and nobody, not even the trees, clapped when you sang "Billy Jean"? If you performed an appendectomy brilliantly on your teddy bear and even he didn’t notice, would you realize you had a gift? Um – no. But it’s kind of sketchy leaving this identification of your gift to others, isn’t it?
Still – what I propose is that we all take a few days and look around at the uniqueness of others. Really plumb the depths of your relationship with family, friends, your house pets, neighbors and maybe even a politician or two (for ‘tis the season) and see what you find. Help one other person discover his or her uniqueness. There’s one special thing about every person that sets him or her apart from every other person. What is it? When you see it say it. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll return the favor. Of course this could open up a whole can of stinky worms, but maybe not. Yeah, let’s go with not. It’ll be fun.
Tough gig, I know. Report back if you’d like. Alan and I will be waiting. My gift is communicating with the newly dead. Ha! Just kidding. Really – just kidding. Don’t call me about it. Okay?
Image: Free Harry Potter Images