By Samantha Nelson
Recently, I broke my little toe. I can’t tell you how my little toe happened to slam into the leg of the nightstand so hard that it broke, but I can tell you that it was unmistakable —and painful! I instantly dropped to the floor in agony. Before my eyes, my toe swelled and turned various shades of blue and purple.
I reckon many of you who have had similar experiences are feeling my pain right now, and those of you who haven’t are wincing at the thought of it.
For weeks, I could not wear shoes or even walk normally because certain movements made my toe hurt intensely. I didn’t always know what type of movement would bring on the “drop-to-my-knees” pain, but I figured it out as the days passed. Who knew that a tiny, seemingly insignificant part of the body could make the entire body fully aware of its needs like that? Ah, the things we take for granted!
Amidst the pain, the Holy Spirit nudged me and brought an image to my mind. The experience I was having with my little toe is like the experience of the Church. When one part of our physical body hurts, the whole body suffers in some way. That is true in the Church as well. This Body of Believers is made up of many individual parts—little toes, if you will—and when one of them is hurt, sick, or injured, the entire Body is affected.
The Apostle Paul writes: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. . . . And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
As Christians, it is our responsibility, as parts that make up the whole Body, to make sure that the sick, hurt, or injured parts of our Body are receiving the care, nurture, and healing they need. After all, how can the Body as a whole be well and be all Christ intended if there is pain and sickness among its members? We have a responsibility to “bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1), to reach out a helping hand to those in need, to speaks words of comfort and hope in due season (Isaiah 50:4).
Will you join me in making sure the Body is as healthy and happy as possible before our Lord returns to take us Home?
Samantha Nelson is a pastor’s wife and co-founder/CEO of The Hope of Survivors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting victims of clergy sexual abuse and providing educational seminars to clergy and congregations of all faiths. Email her at: [email protected]