I was driving to town the other day when a song came up in my playlist, and it stomped all over my toes again, just like it always does:
“If we are the body,
Why aren’t His arms reaching,
Why aren’t His hands healing,
Why aren’t His words teaching?
If we are the body,
Why aren’t His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?”
As I listened to the song, I started thinking of all the things I used to do, that I’m not able to do anymore. I felt like a failure as part of the body Christ.
You see, I used to take food to people who were going through tough times. I used to send cards to people on their birthdays, or on the passing of their loved ones. I used to stop in and wash up the food-splattered kitchen floor of a busy mom friend of mine.
Now it seems my arms aren’t reaching out to the orphans, the homeless, the poor… my hands aren’t healing the broken… I don’t do as well as I could at telling people about Christ in my life. His words aren’t going through me as they should be, and teaching the world about Him… My feet aren’t going to the prisons or ministering to those who are widowed and alone. Why, I don’t even send cards to my friends on their birthdays anymore!
I wondered, am I failing my Jesus? Why aren’t my feet going? Then the thought came to me: my feet are so busy running after an active toddler, and going to the clothesline and back, that I can hardly find time to take care of myself, much less anyone else.
My arms aren’t currently reaching out to orphans, sometimes they can barely reach around to the three little people that make up my biggest responsibility, my highest calling.
My hands are changing diapers, bouncing baby, retrieving crayons from the mouth of a little boy with colorful tastes, applying band-aids, and teaching a three year old to write her letters.
And His words? I’m not doing so well at using them to teach others, but day by day they are teaching me.
I’m being reminded in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything. This helps me to not get discouraged when others are pouring love into my life, and into my little family, but I’m not finding the time to pay it back or pass it along.
In Proverbs, and in 1st Peter, I find guidelines for Christian womanhood, and every time I read them, I’m humbled and challenged. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.” “A gentle and quiet spirit.” I definitely have work to do.
I think these verses are special. (It’s like God knew we would sometimes be short on time, so He gave some tips on when would be a great time to get some teaching in.)
I think in the future when I hear the song “If We Are The Body,” I won’t struggle so much with guilt and the feeling that I’m no good to anyone at this stage of life. Instead I can realize that I’m just a little toe in the Body of Christ, and it is perfectly capable of going on without much input from me for a few years.
Life with a new baby, a 3 year old and a not-quite-2-year-old is a beautiful kind of chaos, but if the flooding of love, food and help I have received from so many of you is any indication, the Body is alive and well! I’m so blessed to have such a network of people around me who do SO well at reaching out and showing support.
If you’re in the same stage as me, let’s remember that this stage of diapers and laundry and tiny humans everywhere is a short stage that we are going to miss.
But while we are missing our little people, and wishing they hadn’t grown up so fast, we will again be able to reach out to the ones who need food, or someone to fold laundry and wash dishes. We will have time to take flowers to the sick, and send cards to the lonely.
And when we do, let’s remind those exhausted young mothers that the busyness of motherhood doesn’t render them useless to the brotherhood; for in fact they are raising the future church. And for now, let’s remember this ourselves:
We ARE the Body. We’re just at a different season than everyone else.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
Be blessed ❤️