For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.1 Corinthians 12:12-20
I need a lot of help. I was born with a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which puts me in a wheelchair and makes me require assistance with almost all physical aspects of daily life. Anyone who knows me knows that I live an incredibly full life and rarely get frustrated by the challenges that come with a disability, but what does upset me sometimes is when I feel as if I’m the one that’s always needing help, never giving it.
For example, a couple summers ago, my grandfather passed away from cancer. During the last days until his flight to heaven, there were infinities of moments where I wished I could help him in any way – not help as in heal him or something else unprecedented, but aid with the little things. I was upset that I couldn’t get my grandpa water, push his wheelchair around, or merely change the TV channel to something he’d enjoy more.
However, my mindset changed because of what I like to call a “God moment” I experienced during those last days of my grandpa’s final days. While my grandpa was resting, I decided to put my feet up on his hospital bed because they tend to get swollen from sitting all day.
My grandfather had been struggling to sleep for several days due to a fever; contrarily, my feet are always cold. Suddenly, my grandpa grabbed my foot, smiled, said it was the perfect temperature, and fell asleep holding it. Ironically, I’d simply been resting my own feet, and that was exactly what he’d needed.
This verse from Corinthians, as well as the moment with my grandpa, was encouraging and reminded me that my existence, just my existence and nothing else, is enough. God created each of us with specific and different functions, talents, and abilities in order for the body of Christ as a whole to operate. Not only are these characteristics different, but they are helpful in their own way.
I need a lot of help. But don’t we all? That is why we have Christ – His guidance, His mercy, His help – who created us as individuals with the ability to then help each other, the body of Christ, through our different ways of being.