Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Beautiful Body

I suppose it has a lot to do with the fact that my wife has been out of town, in America, for the last week or so... But I've recently caught myself admiring the beauty of another feminine body. Not in an erotic way, mind you -- on the contrary, my admiration for such a beautiful body is completely honorable, I assure you. But I would be lying if I said that such beauty has gone unnoticed.

I'm just awe-struck sometimes by the way that the Body of Christ (also referred to as the Bride of Christ, or the Church) works.

Today, my mother-in-law and father-in-law are moving. Almost three decades' collection of mementos, appliances, furniture, and other miscellaneous stuff are being packed up, loaded onto a U-Haul, and delivered to a new domicile (which is actually a very old farmhouse that's been in the family for generations, but which has required a massive renovation effort to host the new tenants)... As you might anticipate, the project requires lots of heavy lifting, lots of cleaning, lots of physical and emotional energy over a sustained period of time... And it's all coming to a head today.

Yet here I sit -- typing at my computer in Amsterdam, an ocean away, while my children nap in their bedrooms. It's pathetic, really.

On such an occasion when family is supposed to rise to the occasion, when the call goes out for "all hands on deck," when a strapping young son-in-law (if I may so identify myself) could be extremely useful -- I am rendered useless, powerless, and ineffective -- constrained by our son's school schedule and the thousands of dollars that would be required to transport all of us back to Ohio to help out. Days like today are some of the hardest to be following God's call to live and lead a church in the Netherlands. Days like today honestly make me wonder if I'm doing the right thing, living with my family in a foreign land -- even if it may be "for the sake of the Gospel"...

In spite of the situation, though, I find contentment and hope in the fact that I'm part of a big, beautiful Body that's able to extend past the conventional constraints of time and space. My hands may be tied today, figuratively speaking, "holding down the fort" in Amsterdam -- but my membership in the Body of Christ allows me to have hands that are available, able, and active to help my extended family in this time of need. Even as I'm typing here in Amsterdam, ten strong, young, able-bodied believers should be driving the roads from Bowling Green to the home of my parents-in-law in order to offer the helping hands that are so desperately needed today. Old friends from our previous community of faith, h2o, have responded to the "nerve impulses" sent through the Body of Christ and are enthusiastically embracing the opportunity to be my family's hands and feet in Ohio today. Today will actually be their second trip to help! And if past experience is any gauge of what will happen today (which I'm quite confident it will be), the help offered by these young men and women is that of no ordinary "volunteer work force," or even the work of well-paid hired hands -- oh no, our brothers and sisters from Bowling Green will apply themselves like true family. Like the Family of God. The Body of Christ.

It's beautiful. I'm telling you: the only way that we're able to be active in "missionary" work -- serving the greater Body of Christ in Amsterdam -- is through the other members of the Body that allow us to cover our bases in America, that allow us to be financially supported in our ministry, that allow us to receive the spiritual protection that we so desperately need through prayer, that allow us to feel loved and supported on both sides of the ocean (let's not forget that we have a beautiful surrogate family on this side of the ocean as well!). The Body of Christ is a beautiful thing. Don't you agree?


At 12:54 AM, Blogger Bryan's Blog said...

I certainly do agree Eric. It was a pleasure to be able to help out with the big move. Hope you are enjoying your time with the kids!



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