“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.”
-1 Corinthians 12:4-6
I never knew how valuable and crucial a pinkie toe could be…
until I broke it.
Its one of the smallest and most seemingly insignificant parts of the body, but the second it breaks or gets injured, the simple act of walking can become a thousand times more difficult. Then to make matters worse, try to jam and squish that toe into a fancy high-heeled shoe or into a sturdy football boot, and all bets are off.
Each part of our anatomy plays a significant role in our well-being. Big or small. Strong or weak. Visible or invisible. The body of Christ operates in the same way (or at least it should). When the apostle Paul referred to the church as “the body,” he was highlighting the fact that not all of its members would look, function, or act in the same way. He was aware of the differences, strengths, weaknesses, giftings, and abilities of each individual member – and he knew that they would operate best as one unified and complete organism. He knew that some parts would be more audible, athletic, or aesthetic than others and he knew that some parts wouldn’t even be visible at all, but he made it very clear that every single part mattered.
Instead of criticizing the elbow for not being able to kick a ball or paint a picture, we should celebrate its ability to bend and carry our heavy handbags in its crook. Instead of judging the kneecaps for not being able to type on a keyboard, we should celebrate their ability to help us kneel and support our body weight. Instead of attacking the pinkie toe for not being able to shout or speak out, we should rejoice over its ability to keep us balanced as we walk or run from one destination to another.
God gloriously works through every single one of us in different ways. He loves us and expresses His nature through us uniquely. Not a single one of us is exactly the same, and that’s a beautiful thing. If a part of the body were amputated, the rest of the body would be missing out, it wouldn’t be functioning at full capacity, and it wouldn’t reach its greatest potential. The body would be compromised. But when each part plays its unique and God-intended role (no matter how grand or how trivial), there’s harmony, growth, wholeness, and health.
As we seek to embrace each other (and ourselves) as members of this perfectly imperfect church body, let’s remember that every single part has its value, and every single part reflects and reveals a distinctive piece of our Creator’s heart. Instead of pointing out weaknesses or incapabilities, let’s aim to celebrate strengths and the many qualities that make us different. When we look at each other (and when we look in the mirror), let’s remind ourselves that we were handmade by the Great God of the Universe, that we have been re-born of the same Spirit, and that we are absolutely irreplaceable.
And most importantly, let’s remember that the One who connected all of our individual and unique parts together did so for a Kingdom purpose – a purpose that has everything to do with sharing and radiating His unconditional love, grace, mercy, and power with the whole entire world.
So whether you’re an armpit or an eyeball – rejoice in the fact that God has handcrafted you, and know without a doubt that you are loved exactly as you are.