Sunday, March 31, 2013

Church as body

church as body

wholeness waits
on the other side of
destruction, redemption,

Not a new idea, but I find myself really understanding it in a very personal way lately.  Body as one unit made up of many parts, sometimes all doing their own thing.
  • I can't stretch my hamstrings because my joints are too loose, so to go far enough to get a stretch, I have to strain the tear in my hip, which hurts.  
  • I need to loosen the overworked muscles in my leg that have been kindly keeping my hip in place despite the tear, but to stretch them, I strain the hip tear, which makes the muscles tighter and angrier in the end.  
  • I need to strengthen my upper body to help stabilize the tear in my shoulder, but when I do yoga, core work, or anything beneficial to my upper body, the injuries in my wrist, elbow, and shoulders protest vociferously.

and so I seek
equilibrium of some kind
strengthening without
damaging pain because
movement without pain
may not be possible.

Perhaps this is why the church seems wearily familiar to me when I see it as conflicting ideas and opinions clashing against each other, accomplishing nothing worthwhile, a noisy gong and clanging cymbals, a sound and fury signifying nothing.

When I started writing this piece, I was thinking it would end more positively, like,
our bodies are broken like this,
and the church is called the Body of Christ,
so of course it will be broken like this, too,
so it should be familiar, and I can't blame it for being what it is, right?

But I can't fix my body and haven't really had much luck improving the overall health of the Body, and I
am tired of being broken
in a broken world
surrounded only
by broken people
just like me.  Familiarity
breeds, well, you know
how the saying goes (and that it's not positive).

The thing that gives me hope is that I haven't given up on either body.  Sometimes I just get discouraged when I am forced to face that fact that I cannot make either body healthy, perfect, and pain free.  And sometimes my individual body is so loud, I have no coping to spare for the bigger Body.  Avoidance can be a reasonable strategy.  At times like these, I'm glad for my small group. They are
my tiny connection
to the Body, the place
where I can use my gifts
(even if imperfectly) to bless
others and be blessed.  A smaller group of broken people, a manageable number to care too much for.  And for now, that will have to be enough.

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