Head, shoulders, knees and toes
Knees and toes
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, KNEES AND TOES!!!
A couple weeks back I went to visit a friend in St. Louis and got to play volleyball with the young adults group at her Church. Anyone who knows me, knows that volleyball is my favorite sport to play and I jump at almost any opportunity to join a game.
I was having some problems with my shoulder that night, so I was attentive to not hitting the ball to aggressively and went for a simple set in which I jammed my right thumb! OUCH! This made playing quite difficult seeing as how I couldn't do much overhanded and now even underhand hits caused a considerable amount of pain.
We left not long after since I was feeling out of commission and I went to take a shower before bed. I go to unbutton my jeans...OUCH! This one injured thumb was making it quite difficult to do such a simple task - griping my jeans so I could unbutton with my left hand. We won't even begin to talk about how difficult it was to unhook my bra between the shoulder injury and thumb issue! The next morning, all is well until I go to brush my teeth. I'm sure I looked funny holding my toothbrush in the palm of my hand while trying not to apply pressure with my thumb. The day continued and Brittany and I decided to play a game involving cards. Everything is great and now it's my turn to deal, but wait...I can't shuffle! This poor jammed thumb felt so hurt and useless! Throughout the remainder of my weekend, several instances came up where I realized how difficult these everyday tasks were without the use of a thumb. Crazy, right!
Fast forward, last night I was standing with a group of friends in the kitchen, waiting for dinner to be complete and we were discussing my friends elbow injury. She mentioned how washing her hair, driving the car, cooking, all these every day tasks had become either extremely difficult and/or impossible for the time being. I said, "Yea, it's crazy how such a small member of our body can be injured, yet it affects so much of our functionality." As the words were leaving my mouth, I instantly thought of 1 Corinthians 12:15-26:
"Now if the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."
This verse rang more true than ever with this realization last night, "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it;" This proved right with my thumb and likewise, it was true of my friends elbow. We were unable to accomplish things as efficiently without them - the rest of our body suffered due to the injury of these small, yet meaningful members of our bodies.
Simple enough right, anyone who has ever stubbed a toe, broken a bone, fractured something or even got sick understands this full well. God was not just giving us some anatomy lesson in these verses though, he was giving an illustration that shows how it is with us and the rest of the Church. When one person is hurt, we all suffer. When one member is honored, we should share in the rejoicing! How often do we consider this truth though? Regardless of us seemingly "feeling" it's impact - it's reality. The Church is not the same without the members of the body carrying out their functions.
YOU are valuable to the body of Christ and YOU have a purpose to fulfill as a part of it! Same for me. Our purposes may be different, but we need each other.
Do you look at your brother or sister in Christ and consider their worth? Their value? The fact that without them, the Church is missing something that she needs? Do we see them as a vital member and as such, they should be cared for, respected and mended when broken? When we see some led astray by the things of this world and desires of their flesh, do we even notice the loss of a limb? Do our hearts break? Let's take this one step further - in our Churches, do we neglect the poor, the single mother's the disabled, the widows? It says in these verses, "On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor." Do we find ourselves esteeming those who benefit us most, but overlooking the ones who may not seem to have much to offer in return? These members are precious!
This convicts me!
I've been guilty of overlooking the thumbs and elbows. It's easy for me to consider the head, but what about the shoulders, knees and toes? We neglect the joints until they become sore and weak and realize that the leg without a knee can't run. The arm without an elbow cannot bend to move food that you've scooped up using your wrist to bend your hand to your spoon that is griped by your fingers that were curled by your knuckles and then lifted by your muscles to your mouth. Which then needs your teeth, your tongue, your throat (which is made up of four parts alone), your stomach, intestines and the list goes on just to move it through the body and be digested and the nutrients absorbed by the cells...you get the point! Each part of our bodies is valuable - as is true with each member of the Church.
My prayer is that with every stubbed toe, jammed finger or broken bone I have or hear of someone having - I'm reminded of the body and how each member is precious!