My son Shawn broke his pinky finger right before Christmas. He needed surgery and 3 pins in the fractured bone. The recovery was long – and he was a “starter” for his basketball team when this happened. It’s his senior year.
As you can imagine, he had to “ride the bench” for most of the rest of the season. It was hard. It was frustrating. And it didn’t seem fair.
Life is sometimes like this. We get injured in this life – oh you can’t see the “break” – especially if it’s emotional – in fact we may look very normal and ready to “play”. But inside – we are not ready. We are healing. And we have to do our “time” – “riding the bench”.
But those that are injured in this life are still part of the team. And still longing to play. Looking on – sitting on the sidelines of life – watching the healthier ones go for it. Wondering what is wrong with them. Watching those healthy and not broken – feeling weak and useless. Needing much time to heal. It’s hard. It’s frustrating. And it doesn’t seem fair.
In I Corinthians 12 we read:
12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If 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? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
As I watched my son sit on the bench for his senior year of basketball because of an injury – I was keenly aware of many of us who have to “sit it out” for a time because of circumstances of life. How left out we feel – how sad and discouraged. And I was encouraged by the scripture passage above – EVERYONE is still part of the team! If one part suffers – we all suffer.
And just like we coddle and patiently care for an injured part of our body when it is broken and hurt – we need to be keenly aware of those around of that need the same emotional healing in their lives – who are still valid and vital – who are still part of the team. Be that person today to bring about healing for those around you – be an encourager to the broken hearted – be a voice of reason to those that may be running from God – be a supportive, healing bandage of lavish love to a world that needs to still feel a part of the team.