Thursday, July 25, 2013

Many Parts, One Body

One of the scripture readings that I love has to do with how we are all parts of one body.  "As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ." (1 Corinthians 12:12) It goes on to say that "If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy." (1 Corinthians 12:26)

This has always been one of my favorite passages upon which to reflect. We, the church members, make up the body of Christ.  As the body, we are at our best when the entire body is healthy.  Although some scripture can be a bit difficult to put into context, this seemed to be a fairly easy one.  To put this in perspective I only needed to think about when I was sick and unable to do all I needed to do.  Or I could think about if I had hurt my hand or foot how I needed to compensate in order to get things done.  Could I be productive?  Could I change the way I did things in order to carry on? Yes. I could. Was it as good as when I was completely healthy and on top of my game?  Never.  So, I could take such experiences and apply it to this scripture.

As the body of Christ, we are at our best when we are all spiritually healthy and well.  When one of us is ill, it effects the entire body.  We may be able to compensate and carry on. However, we are at our very best and the way that God intended when we are all healthy and working together.  So, just as we would nurse ourselves back to health, we should also care for each other spiritually and physically so that we all are healthy.

This always seemed like one of the relatively easy scripture passages to wrap my brain around.  Maybe not always easy to put into practice, but one I thought that was easily understandable.  Until the other night, that is, when I realized it was so much more. 

The other night I was thinking about my mom's stroke and what has transformed since then.  She has changed.  My dad has changed.  My siblings have changed.  I have changed.  Relationships have changed.  Communication has changed.  Expectations have changed.  So much has changed.  And as I sat in bed journaling about all of these changes this scripture passage drifted into my mind... if one suffers, we all suffer with him.

I thought about how so many dynamics in my family have changed since this one event.  Some changes for the better, some not. It was so clear to me at that moment how a "body" - in this instance a family - was effected due to what one member was going through.  Because, you see, it isn't ever one person who goes through something.  All those who know and love the person are also effected by it.  "If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy."

This truth permeated me that evening and I was able to internalize this scripture in an entirely new way, or maybe I should say deeper way.  We are all part of this wonderful and marvelous body of Christ.  We are all connected.  Until we realize how intrinsically united we are with one another, until we realize how much we need one another, and until we realize that we were created to be many, but yet still be one, we won't ever really be whole.