I was in a head on collision Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of Baskin Robbins. There were no cars involved mind you, I was run down directly by my 6'2", 230 lb. seventeen-year old son. Mom's first lesson of the week: Be careful who you tussle with (even playfully). In hindsight, the revelation that came to me is my Jake is a little like an oversized puppy. He means no harm, but can be a little dangerous, nonetheless.
Long story short (is it too late for that?) in the process of our tangle, I ended up with a sprained and bruised ankle from the process of the fall, and a big bruise on the back of my head and an extremely sore jaw from the landing. (My head, on the asphalt.)
I came home from the ER cleared, but feeling pretty battered and bruised. I forsook my crutches quickly for a cane because I felt like I was going to kill myself trying to use them. Walking was almost impossible the first night, but painful after that. Eating quickly lost lots of it's luster because quite frankly, my teeth are not lining up properly and it hurts to bite down. And the back of my head - very sensitive
That's what I was well aware of the first night, but in the days that have since passed, I have been far more aware of aches and pains in far different places.
Wednesday we had to drop our kids off at summer camp, and unwilling to miss the tradition of dropping them off in their cabins,I had to do some heavy trekking for a newly sprained ankle. The walk between my daughter's cabin and the cabin where my boys were was particularly steep. But what I noticed as I walked slowly down the decline and then back up the hill as well, was that the place I felt the worst pain was not in my newly injured left ankle, but rather in my "healthy" right leg.
I noticed also that my left shoulder and arm attached first to the crutches and then to the cane was really feeling a lot of pain. The only comfortable way to move on my tender left ankle was to turn my foot out slightly when I walked, that caused pain in my hip. Bottom line, the injured "body parts" was specific, but the pain was very general and felt throughout the whole body.
It reminded me of a scripture. Interestingly enough, my friend who sends me scripture via text message every day, sent me this passage Thursday morning:
This passage came to me as well:
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that 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 Corinthians 12:12-26
I know that's a lot of reading, but it's critical. Wednesday morning before I took the kids to camp, I said to Ethan, "You really don't know how much you use your ankle for until you injure it." I would feel the pain of its weakness in ways I never imagined. Who realized you need your ankle to sit down? But you do.
It makes me think about the "Body" of Christ and how it can be weakened and hurt when people don't perform what God has called them to. The Romans scripture says it perfectly, what God has called you and gifted you to do, DO! If you don't, then other parts of the "Body" are bearing more weight than they should, and feeling the stress and strain of it.
Likewise, as a "Body" we shouldn't be hindering one another from serving in our gifts. We shouldn't be letting "hands" decide that "ankles" serve no good purpose, because when we do, suddenly the abdomen is feeling the pain of it. But sadly, it happens every day. But those hands are not The Hands that rule the world, so trust that the "Head" (Jesus, Himself) will reveal to you the place He has for you to serve even when other body parts don't think you should. So press on, find your place.
Don't be handicapped, and DO what God made you to DO. Remember, where it's God's will, He'll make a way.