Last week I was rearranging some of my kitchen cabinets (read “nesting”) and went to put away the step stool I was using. I collapsed the stool and as I was walking it back to its spot it slipped out of my hand and landed with one of the feet on my left foot–my 4th toe on that foot to be exact. The pain was so horrible I couldn’t even cry. I hobbled over to a chair, sat down and rocked back and forth waiting for the pain to subside. My poor children came over to me with questioning eyes, patting me and hugging me. (On a funny note: Cora looks at her brother and says, “It’s OK, Ben. You didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident!” He nods in all seriousness and looks at me with big eyes. When I was able to find my voice I said, “Cora, honey, Ben didn’t hurt Mommy. Mommy hurt herself. It was an accident, but no one hurt Mommy but herself.” Cora looks at Ben and says, “Oh, you didn’t do anything Ben! It was just an accident!”) As the day progressed my toe got more and more red/purple. By the next morning my toe was blue, purple and red. Plus, the bruise had traveled down into my foot. Cora was fascinated that my toe was so many colors. In any case, I think I broke it, but it is improving.
Now, what does this have to do with anything? Well, let me tell you, I didn’t realize how much I used that toe until I couldn’t use it. I mean, did you know you use that 4th toe to climb up and down stairs, walk, balance, carry your son, and kneel on the floor and also to get back up? Yeah, you do. With everything I did I felt that dumb toe. It made me think of the following passage in 1 Corinthians. Please read it, I know it’s a little long, bear with me…
“Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
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. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” 1 Corinthians 12:14-31
Scripture uses the human body to explain and describe what the Body of Christ is. We are all important. I mean, we need everyone. If you think you’re just a measly little toe, you’re wrong. You’re needed in the Body of Christ. Let me tell ya, if you stopped using the gifts and strengths God gave you the Body would suffer. People would say, “Hey! What happened to that toe? We’re out of whack! We can’t go up and down stairs as well. We can’t balance very well. It hurts too much to get up from this position.” Maybe your job is to be the pastor. Maybe your role is to be a Sunday school teacher. Maybe you’re the janitor. Maybe you’re the one who calls those who are sick, takes them a meal, or visits those who can’t get out. Maybe you quietly serve, and people don’t really know that the things you do are being done by you. Whether you’re the one preaching every Sunday or doing things people don’t even know about it doesn’t matter. It is our job, being a part of the Body of Christ, to do what we were created to do. If you stop doing what you were created to do the Body will not function the way it should. You are not just a measly toe, you are a very important part of the Body of Christ, and you need to remember that!