Several weeks ago I managed to injure my big toe in the klutziest of ways. I was rolling up an area rug to take it out of the house and have it cleaned. Because it was so heavy, I was trying to hold one side with my foot, while still rolling the other side to make it even. The rug rolled back and hit my big toe, with the resulting feeling that it jammed it up into the rest of my foot! Needless to say, I jumped, the rug unrolled, and I had to start the process over again, with my toe throbbing the entire time.
The next morning when I looked at my foot there was a huge bruise from the toe all the way up to the top of my foot. I did not go have it x-rayed, because I have had broken toes before and there is not much they do for them except tape them and sometimes put you in a stiff shoe. However, I saw my rheumatologist for my regular follow-up a day later and she noticed my toe. I told her the whole ridiculous story of how I hurt it, and she insisted I go for an x-ray. I reluctantly went and found to her surprise and my delight that it was not broken. But that toe took forever to heal.
It is a funny thing about the body–every part serves a function. If you are like me you don’t think a lot about your toes, until one of them gets hurt. Then you limp and try to protect it as much as possible.
I was reading in 1 Corinthians 12 and was reminded that the church is a body and it has many parts. Some of those parts may seem insignificant and are not highly visible, but they still play an important role. And believe me, the toe plays an important role in helping balance the body!
It is a strange thing, but generally true, that the most visible parts seem to get the most glory in the church. We seem to value highly the ones who preach, sing, and teach–all visible parts of the body. But the ones who change dirty diapers in the nursery, take out the trash, and clean the baptistry are not noticed so much. Yet they play valuable roles in being part of the body.
Paul says “But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.” (1 Corinthians 12:10, NLT) He further notes in verse 11, “In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.” Believe me if the trash is not taken out, the restrooms are not cleaned, and dirty diapers are not changed, we begin to sit up and take notice.
Do not wait until you stub your toe to notice how important it is to the body. In the same way, take note of all of those individuals in the church who are playing such vital, almost unseen roles in the church. And, if you are a toe? Know that you are truly appreciated in the church of Christ.