I’m going to say something right now that might frustrate or worry those of you who say you love Jesus and are called according to His purpose to be ambassadors of His grace to a world longing for real hope.
I’m not sure we really are all Jesus’ hands and feet (and I can’t find a scripture one that says we are).
In fact, if we were all His hands and feet, Jesus just might look like a monster. Now, the idea of our feet being called beautiful because we are good news-bringers and our hands being called blessed because they are moving to help heal a broken world? Oh wow—that is a most incredible thing. But we are more than hands and feet. We are a body, gathered together. Yes, scripture says we are fit together like intricate puzzle pieces, each having a purpose. When we snap together like those pieces on a kitchen table, we reveal redemption’s story. And it is made evident when we are not fitting together well—or when we have gone missing.
I remember the day my best friend and I talked about what it meant to be part of the global body of Christ. “I think you’re the bowels,” I smiled and said to her. Yes, bowels doesn’t conjure up the best visual, but honestly, the King James version of “gut” just seems to work. Courtney is truly the gut. She feels things deeply, way down inside. We’ve known each other for more than a decade and have traveled the world together. I’ve watched her grieve, when she’s bending low in lament. I’ve watched her fight for the rights of kids, and the strength she has is a deep and down low strength.
Our friend David just might be the pituitary. He is passionate about the healthy growth of the global Church. He is ever-observant about all the individual pieces.
There are others, like Anita. She’s definitely intellect. She’s the one you want around when all is coming unhinged emotionally. She speaks a beautiful calming reason into the moment, lifting everyone’s heads to see truth. My precious friend Jessica is shoulders. She’s built to carry burdens that would crush others, and she is a steady and sturdy place to lean and rest and refresh. Heather? I think she might be the lap. Her presence is a safe one, a nurturing one, a peaceful one.
And me? I’m not sure exactly where exact my puzzle piece would land, but I’m somewhere in the lungs. I can’t not respond, and I can’t not speak hope. In times of crisis, it is breath that is halted in me, and it is the new, tender composition of the air that my soul seeks out in times of grief and lament. All that I am is given life when I breathe God-designed life into the lives of others.
I love that my puzzle piece complements Courtney’s which complements David’s which complements Anita’s which complements Jessica’s which complements Heather’s. I can’t help but smile when I think about the way we are invited and welcomed into a gathering place that looks like smiling, bending, lifting, holding, thinking, caring, healing. I love that we are not all the same and yet united, that we are designed to fit together without bending or breaking.
In Ephesians, it is written of Jesus and us: “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” And Colossians paints a powerful image of Christ’s body: “So spacious is He, so expansive, that everything of God finds its proper place in Him without crowding.”
I am praying for us, that we would embrace our purpose within a body that stretches its arms around a world in need. I pray we will celebrate every puzzle piece, that we will allow room for each piece to snap together, that we will embrace our own design as essential because we are designed by God to tell His story. This is a way we gather, friends. We are in this together, and this puzzle piece, breathing room body part is for you.
So, tell me—what body part might you be?