Seeing a Body-Not Just Extremities

The Church is the body of Christ here on earth. Just as Christ loved the unlovable, touched the blind, fed the hungry, and ate with the outcasts–so to do we clothe the naked, visit those in prison, encourages and breathe light and hope into those with none.

So many times the pulpit calls down to us to be the hands and feet of Christ. To go to those distant lands where no one has gone before and to bring the healing power of love, reconciliation–the Good News & the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those people.

Hands and feet are active body parts. Extremely active. With our hands we lift food to our mouths, pour water over our bodies, and create, and build, and mend. Our feet move us and dance us and carry us from one life experience to the next.

How beautiful to be part of the hands of God–to feed and to cleanse. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news?! To help carry someone’s burden.

But these body parts are just an extremity.

They are just a beginning.

What would it look like if we traveled past the extremities of God and burrowed deeper and deeper–all the way to the heart of God? What if we breathed air as the lungs of God?

By no means are these organs “passive.” But they are active in an entirely different way than are hands and feet.

The heart exists entirely in a rhythm. In. Out. Up. Down. Over and over–beat after beat it sends blood circulating through the body. Without blood–without oxygen-filled blood, the body would shut down. if the hand does not have blood pumped to it from the heart the fingers will cease to function and will die.

And what of the lungs? The lungs take in and soak up everything from the outside air–good and bad. Smoke from a cigarette and oxygen exhaled from a nearby oak tree. The lungs give out carbon dioxide to be used for plants and in its place carry fresh oxygen to be given to the rest of the body.

A slow, steady, unceasing rhythm. Breathe in, breathe out. Pumping, breathing, never-ending.

Yes, to be the extremities–the hands and feet of God is a blessing, a noble calling. But God calls us deeper. We are called into God’s own heart. To sit–in a rhythm–day after passing day. God calls us to be God’s people–and to love the body of Christ the way the heart loves the rest of the body. Day after day. Quietly being present. Being rooted in one place. Doing one small job at a time. All so the rest of the body can function.

The hands and the feet of Christ are beautiful.

But the heart of God is hidden and mysterious and wonderful. And, it is already beating–without our knowledge or doing or skill. Calling us to quietly let go, let down, and let be. Never asking anything more from us–than to receive.

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