How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
I have two “little” grandgirlies, one toddler and one pre-schooler. It’s interesting to watch them develop handedness, one of many skills learned in these early years. They go back and forth between right and left at will. I think one will be left handed, maybe both. I’m so right handed that I can’t imagine it.
Last week I had surgery on my left thumb as a result of arthritis — so now I have matching thumbs. The right thumb was a far more difficult recovery so I expected that this time it would be much simpler. I was wrong.
The left hand is my support hand and it’s all bandaged up and useless. Try cracking an egg or putting toothpaste on your toothbrush. I’ve dropped things, broken bottles, and basically just had it to hand it to Mark with a smile and, “Please.” Getting dressed is a challenge. I need that left hand to assist or finish the task.
The Apostle Paul writes a letter to the church in Corinth, a group of new believers, who had many questions. One lesson explained the structure of the church and roles that needed to be filled to accomplish the work Christ had set before them. He used the illustration of the body to explain how we are intricately fashioned to function as a whole but made up of various parts. No one part can dominate or the whole will malfunction. And sometimes we discover some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
I have a much greater appreciation for wounded warriors that come home missing an arm. I appreciate, too, the church janitor, the volunteer secretary that answers the phones, and the music librarians — not much glory in those jobs but so crucial.
I know that my hand will soon be healed and useful to me again. But, it’s been a good week for me to remember and appreciate all of those around me who step in when I need a hand.