Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Unimportant Body Part

One minute, I was cutting an onion while the twins noisily pushed each other, jockeying for the best position around my feet. The next, the knife slipped and I found myself staring at a thin white oval sliced from my fingertip.

The finger, itself, turned a ghastly white, seemingly not knowing what to do. But then the blood finally came, and it took an hour and a half to stem the flow. As wounds go, this one wasn’t deep enough to need stitches or to excuse me from most household duties.

And yet for the better part of a week, I have learned how important a fingertip is. With each diaper change, each child picked up, each letter typed on the keyboard—I have felt the throbbing. Even my nightly sleep is delayed by the steady pulse, a reminder of how my entire body suffers when even the most seemingly insignificant part is hurting.

When speaking of the body of Christ, Paul made a similar observation about all parts holding equal importance in the Kingdom of God. He said, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many….But in fact God has arranged 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?” ( 1 Corr. 12:12-14, 18-19).

In our culture, emphasis seems to be placed on the big mega-churches, on the well-known Christian speakers making headlines, on the published Christian authors and what they can accomplish for Jesus.

Yet, Scripture is clear that each person in the body of Christ is important, no matter the man-imposed hierarchy of giftedness.

Each small off-the-map church proclaiming the richness of God’s Word. Each seemingly insignificant person who shares a cup of water in Jesus’ name. Each unknown person who suffers or is martyred for the cause of Christ.

From America to India to China to Haiti—every Christian in every country is serving a role in God’s great plan. And when one suffers in the body, we all suffer.

Paul continues, “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” (1 Corr. 12: 20-22, my italics).

You may feel weak and unimportant. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

And if you are suffering, there is a body of believers who would love to do nothing more than pray with you, share in your hurts.

God may never call you or me to fame. But as long as we are fulfilling the mission God has given each of us, as long as we are sharing in the hurts of our fellow believers...we know there is no such thing as an unimportant part of Christ’s body.


  1. Not just the hand, not just the finger, but the fingertip too. How true. (Hope the healing is coming quickly. :)

  2. Sorry to hear about your finger! Sometimes a cut like that can help us to remember to be grateful for all the little things that we normally take for granted. Great message today!

  3. What a timely message for today. Isn't so awesome how He uses such situations to make His word real to us? Thank you so much for standing with us in prayer and for reminding us how each voice is significant, no matter how great or small.

  4. Forgot to tell you, I fixed the link so you can view the other requests as well. Thanks.