My Ankle Hurts: Reflections on the Body of Christ

My ankle hurts.

But I’m trying not to complain about it too much so I have found myself doing a bit of theological reflecting (or pontificating) instead.

Heather and I are in the third week of the Couch to 5k training program, but I’m not convinced that my ankle is back to 100% after the sprain of a couple of months ago.  I am enjoying the running, but have been frustrated some too.

A couple of years ago I was running quite a bit, I even ran a couple of 10k’s.  My body was strong.  It was healthy.  The different members of the body were working in harmony with one another and the results were satisfying and rewarding.

Then an injury occured.

Now what my body was once able to do produces pain.  Trying to do it isn’t always pretty.  It can be frustrating!

I have been thinking about churches that I know that are like this.  At some point in their past they were functioning well as the body of Christ.  Ministry was fruitful and rewarding, lives were being changed, God’s presence was felt in a palpable way within the community.

Then an injury occured.

Churches don’t sprain ankles, but they do experience deep and lasting hurts.  Sometimes they come in the form of large-scale congregational blow-ups.  Sometimes they come in the form of long-term low-grade fevers that over time turn into more severe infections.  Either way, when injury occurs within churches things can begin to look like my runs have recently.  They aren’t pretty.  They are labored.  They are painful to live through and painful to watch from the outside.  Sometimes they are especially frustrating because of the memory that exists of what once was.

The good news (for my ankle) and for churches is that healing can come.

And so we pray.

And so we wait.

And so we work (therapy, strengthening exercises, practice).

And so we continue to trust that God is good and that God is at work.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “My Ankle Hurts: Reflections on the Body of Christ

  1. Cathy Giessen

    What a wonderful analogy! It sounds like a terrific Resurrection story (and sermon?). Your gift of ministry is terrific, and your congregations are blessed! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your blog!

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