A couple of days or so ago, I was blessed to be astonished once again at the genius of God in creating these human bodies we all inhabit. One of the wonderfully gifted medical professionals charged with keeping me functional needed some up close and personal contact with parts of me that you can’t get to without cutting a hole somewhere. Every time that happens, I’m freshly overwhelmed with wonder at these living mechanisms God provided us with. They can seem so frail and weak in some ways, but then there are times when they rise up to confront and overcome incredible challenges. So, as the current pain reminds me that this astounding thing God created in His own image is busy repairing the hole and fixing the damage done to it, it’s a good time to think about bodies and to remember that God used our bodies to teach us some wonderfully encouraging truth in a larger context. Hopefully, this brief little post will encourage that.
Seeking Unity & Diversity ~
There’s no shortage of insistent and demanding voices permeating the atmosphere in our increasingly fractured country, but among the loudest and most insistent are the ones screaming for “unity” in some ways and “diversity” in others. In most cases, the unity they seek is all about form, while the diversity they want sabotages effective functioning. The unity and diversity issues so prevalent today are almost exclusively determined by things like the color of one’s skin, or their nationality, or their gender (assuming they can figure out what it is), or their sexual preference or political ideology. Many holding those views think those issues should rise above skills and abilities as a condition for employment. For me, my latest surgical adventure was a prime example of how ridiculous that could be.
My surgeon was a woman. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t confused about it, but I didn’t ask for clarification because it didn’t matter to me what her preferred pronouns were. What mattered was that she was thoroughly knowledgeable, expertly trained, and had proven skills in cutting therapeutic holes in people and in doing things to make them better once she got inside.
Some Things Don’t Matter ~
I’m pretty sure, too, that my primary anesthesiologist was a male, but I didn’t verify it, and I didn’t ask whether he was okay with being a guy. He also seemed to be of foreign descent, but I really didn’t care where he was born, so I didn’t ask about that, either. I cared about two things. I cared about his competence in putting me in a state in which I wouldn’t feel anything when the surgeon started carving on me with her scalpel. Then, when it was over, I wanted to wake up in the same world I went to sleep in. The rest didn’t really matter.
Diversity and inclusion are good things, but not when the concepts are used to fuel envy and promote conflict. God’s plan for weaving unity and diversity together is, as one would expect, pure genius. Our bodies are living illustrations of this, and in many ways, Jesus’ design for His Church mirrors that example. As the rest of my body devotes itself to taking care of the part that isn’t doing so well, I’m reminded of the powerfully encouraging analogy God gave us about how the Church is designed to operate. God inspired Paul to say it this way:
But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12:20–26 NKJV)
No Rejections ~
My leg is pretty banged up right now. It’s swollen, ugly, and painful and it won’t do any of its jobs very well, but the rest of me doesn’t want to shun it and act like it’s not important. All the other parts just want to gather around and do whatever they can to help it get better. None of the other parts are strutting about in their own little world trying to ignore the problem area because it’s wrecking their day. The ugly, painful part may be a bit annoying to all of them, but they don’t respond by making it hurt worse. My hands wouldn’t get any joy out of making demeaning or condemning gestures at the 7″ gash in my knee. My other leg has to work harder to make up for what the wounded one can’t do, but it doesn’t complain. It just tries harder to take the stress off the one that can’t handle it right now. All of me seems to realize that we’re in this thing together, and when the wounded part gets better, the voice will sing, the hands will lift up in praise, the eyes will contribute some joyful tears, and if the feet could dance, they would–but nobody would really want to see that.
Incredible Potential ~
Isn’t it wonderful when the Church of Jesus Christ reacts to one another like that? When God’s people bring all their diversity into the kind of harmonious unity that our bodies do when we’re hurting, it’s a demonstration of love and compassion that does incredible things. It not only speeds healing, it inspires others to want what Jesus offers.
I’m hoping the next time I see some part of the “one” Body of Christ that we all share, and that’s been beaten up in some way, that I’ll respond a little differently. I hope when someone else’s pain gets a little annoying or when someone’s wounds might even be a little ugly to look at, I’ll remember how I’m feeling right now. And I hope I don’t forget how the rest of me is handling the part that can’t contribute much to the rest of those other parts right now. But . . . maybe through the loving care that the other parts could share for a while, that could change. Think about that . . . It’s a lesson Jesus doesn’t want any of us to miss, so maybe we should pause a minute or two and look around to see where the hurts are and offer our help.
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to tweet and share from the pull quotes below. Each one links directly back to this article through Twitter . . .
- “Diversity and inclusion are good things, but not when the concepts are used to fuel envy and promote conflict. God’s plan for weaving unity and diversity together is, as one would expect, pure genius.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “God’s plan for weaving unity and diversity together is, as one would expect, pure genius. Our bodies are living illustrations of this, and in many ways, Jesus’ design for His Church mirrors that example.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “When God’s people bring all their diversity into the kind of harmonious unity that our bodies do when we’re hurting, it’s a demonstration of love and compassion that does incredible things. It inspires others to want what Jesus offers.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
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