If you’re from the right generation, the name Spotty Muldoon will awake memories, mostly of the late, inimitable Peter Cook and his special Muldoon voice, not to mention being doubled up with laughter every time you heard him. In company with many teenagers I had a period of Much Spottiness, during which time I tended to avoid all responsibility or anything that involved being on public view. As adolescence passed by, I became more adept at avoidance, so you may imagine my horror when a neighbour, aiming to hone his skills, asked me to sit for him as a photographic model. Actually, the results were not half bad, and I began to glimpse the joys of a spot-free world. The climax came when, in my first job, an anonymous figure told me that the virtual blockage of my career progress was now defunct, so they could consider me for a posting to some exotic tropical place overseas. “They” had thought that spots might lay me open to terrible disease. As it happens, they were wrong.
“They” were wrong, but for the best of reasons; they cared for their staff. They were committed to efficiency and success, but recognised that a happy workforce was the best way to achieve those ends. Of course there are similar stories in the Bible; take the story of Mephibosheth in the second book of Samuel, chapter 9. As it was with my plethora of spots, Mephibosheth’s handicap was impossible to ignore: both feet were damaged and useless. Society of that time held the disabled in low esteem; they were a burden economically and socially embarrassing. Yet David, embodiment of physical beauty, sensitive to music, and a model of leadership, went out of his way to find a remnant of his enemy Saul’s family to whom he might make amends. Many of us fall victim to some kind of physical, mental or social disadvantage, but we need never feel friendless. We all have family ties because we are children of God, we all can benefit from God’s career planning, and we can be sure we are on the winning side. And Mephibosheth? “And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet”. (2 Sam 9:13) God’s blessing is always there, ready to receive and to delight – Praise Him!