I woke up a few months ago with pain that felt like I was being stabbed in my shoulders and left wrist. It was joint pain like I’d never felt before.
When it continued for more than a week, I got myself to a doctor, who then prescribed some meds and a week of physical therapy.
Still hurts, though. I have a feeling it may take some time to heal if I take care of it, but I don’t have any guarantees that it will completely go away. I’m reminded of my condition every time I reach for something or move my hand at a wrong angle.
I’ve also noticed something else as time went on. I found myself subconsciously avoiding any type of movement that would cause the pain. It’s as if my body has been conditioned not to move in certain ways. Sometimes my back aches because it has to compensate for the weakness in my shoulders.
I’ve noticed that it’s affected my mood. I like to exercise, but I haven’t felt like it lately. This lingering pest of pain made me cranky and annoyed.
It occurred to me that it really is true what they say: When one part of your body hurts, the rest of the body is affected. For example, have you ever had a bad headache? Do you remember how hard is was to do much more than take a Tylenol and disappear into a dark room somewhere? Or think of how much a simple toothache can be miserable. If a tooth hurts, it may be hard to eat. If you don’t eat, you get weak. Think about emotional hardship. Anxiety can bring about a lot of physical reactions, like high blood pressure or insomnia.
The Apostle Paul made reference to the dynamics of the church in this way. He used the analogy of a physical body when he described how we should care for one another.
He said, “…there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinth. 12:25-26)
In other words, He described how we should be so bonded in unity with one another that when one person is hurting, we all feel that pain.
In much the same way, if someone, or a part of the church is honored, then we should all share in that joy as if it happened to us personally.
I know that if my joints recover fully, I’ll grab a tennis racquet and jump for joy. What if my feet said, “Nah, I’m not gonna play. I really don’t care about how well the shoulders are now. We’re so far apart I don’t ever see them.”
But just like the old song about one bone being connected to the other, we are all connected with each other because we are all in the same body. We have a tendon, see to stay together (Pun intended, LOL).
And may I add that we are connected to Christ, who is the head. He leads, He governs, He guides with His mind and Spirit within us.
“And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy” (Col. 1:18)
Have you ever had an injury or illness in a small part of your body that made a big impact on your life?
Have you seen one person’s pain effectively consoled because others in the body of Christ took it upon themselves to nurture and heal?