How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”(1 Corinthians 12:19-21 NLT)
This last week I had a minor surgery. Due to the “pandemic” conditions, the surgery center was a very odd place. Always bizarre, the new protections have made it almost otherworldly. No one is allowed in the front door except the patient (me), and that only with a mask in place. (How the required photo ID helps them recognize me is unclear.) Judy was shooed away like a stray cat. I was alone. All the personnel are be-masked as well. In the waiting room the chairs are spaced in a seemingly random pattern, like pieces in some bizarre, gargantuan chess match.
From the front door to the exit, and everywhere in between, not a human face was to be seen. After the procedure, done under twilight anesthesia, a masked woman handed me an instruction sheet, read it to me, then asked me to acknowledge in writing that I had received it. Of course, my drug-clouded mind had little recollection of what was said, and I may have co -signed someone’s car loan for all I know. Asking questions and remembering instructions have always been Judy’s jobs. In this brave new world, I was on my own. Frankly, the feeling of isolation was more disturbing than the problem that brought me in. I survived, but I didn’t like it for a minute. The lesson: we need each other. We especially need those with whom we have covenant relationship.
This Sunday, our church is resuming public services. It will be weird. No hugging, no handshakes, people in masks, chairs dotted around the room… I don’t know how this will work, but it will surely feel weird. But, thank God, we are back in the same room with the spiritual family God has given us. Masks or no masks, we need each other. We will figure this out together and learn as we go. I’m going with a determination to look for the gifts that each one brings; the things they can do and see that I’m just not wired for. The Body of Christ is not just me and Judy sitting on the couch watching Pastor John on TV. We are a Body, a family of believers, purchased with blood and joined by the Spirit for a God-given purpose. This week we get to celebrate that fact. Let’s do church!