Friday, April 18, 2008

Missing Body Parts

I left my crew on the job one morning to go out of town on errands. When I returned, I noticed that my young apprentice, Eric, was missing. That’s when I learned that he had cut off his finger in my cement mixer and was in the emergency room.

I rushed to find him still waiting for treatment after nearly three hours. Finally, the doctor unwrapped the stub and then asked if we had the severed finger. I told him it was probably embedded in the cement somewhere and the chances of recovery was unlikely. He urged me to go back to the jobsite to try to locate it.

Back at the job, the men told me that Eric had been cleaning the mixer when the accident occurred. I looked inside and saw that most of the cement had been washed down and was still in the bowl. By then it had started to harden and was pretty stiff. I cranked it up to break the set and loosen the material so I could sift through it. Then I found a piece of metal screen, laid it over an empty bucket and began to pour out the material through the sieve.

Suddenly the stucco stained finger plopped onto the screen. I picked it up, hosed it off and placed it in a Carl’s Jr. soft-drink cup with some ice and headed back to the emergency room. About an hour later, the doctor announced to Rick’s mother and me that he had successfully reattached the finger. Today Eric’s finger, although slightly disfigured, is in tact, and fully functional.

We all just assumed that, once severed, the finger was unsalvageable and that Eric would have to adjust to his new handicap and get along without it. It never occurred to us to locate the finger until the physician told us to find it and bring it back.

The apostle Paul refers to the Church as the “body of Christ” where every member is a unique and special part of the whole. "Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.” ( 1 Cor.12: 27 NLT).

Sometimes, one of our “parts gets wounded or cut off and we act as though it is irrecoverable and that we will just get along without it. But every member is important to the Great Physician and has a vital function in the body. When one of our members is wounded or disconnected, we should go out to recover him, heal him, and restore him to his right place and purpose in the BODY.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Wonderful post. The church should be about restoration, but without compromise. Too often churches choose placation over restoration. A wound can only be healed after all the infection is cleaned out.