I’ve long been fascinated with the ability of people who’ve lost their sight to still get around in the world. How afraid I’d be in perpetual darkness, unable to even move from one spot. I get bumps and bruises while moving in my own house, a place that I know very well. So when I see someone without sight navigate the subway, I am in genuine awe.
When one of our senses is impaired, the others jump in to help. Those without sight have heightened smell, taste, hearing, and touch such that they can “see” their world through other mechanisms. A keen sense of touch may stop someone without sight from burning themselves on a stovetop; heightened hearing may help someone from stepping into dangerous traffic. The beeping stoplight indicate that it is safe to walk.
The body helps itself when one part cannot do its job. So too does the Body of Christ.
— 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14, 21-27
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
21 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!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 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,24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Recently, my family and I have been the eyes that cannot see. Since leaving grad school, our expenses have doubled while our income has not. Our home is nice, and it allows the children to stay at their school and our friends continue to be close by, but it’s 50% more a month than what we were paying previously. With three growing kids, our food bill is ginormous, and our credit card and car debt is more than I am comfortable sharing. Our situation felt dire. I felt so embarrassed. I felt like I let my kids and husband down.
But the other parts of the Body have compensated for our lack. Due to the grace and mercy of God, He has used the other parts of his Body to help us financially, even from people who are not explicitly followers of Jesus. More than the financial support, however, He’s used them to show me the love of Jesus, to the point that I have no doubts, as I used to have, about the realness of Jesus Christ. My kids actually had a good Christmas. I received hands that helped, not just prayed. The clouds parted and the light shown through.
I didn’t ask for the support, believe it or not. I asked God, but I didn’t ask these people. The need came up in conversation about another topic altogether, after I’d already surrendered the problem to Him, resting on faith that He would provide, as He promised in His Word. And, when I least expected it, the blessing came.
I didn’t grow up a Christian, as I’ve said before. But now that I know, for real, the love of Christ as expressed through the love of His Body, I am forever and always a follower of Jesus Christ. On this last day of 2014, I proclaim (again) that He is my Lord and Savior.