One day in gym class, we were learning gymnastics. I was doing some stuff on the balance beam and my teacher was giving me a new challenging move that involved slowly rolling off the beam with control. My teacher knew I could do this move because I was a very active dancer. In fact, I danced nearly 30 to 40 hours a week – on top of my routine school requirements. I was really excited about this fun and challenging move, but as I slowly rolled off the beam, I lost the necessary control near the end of the dismount and whack – I hit my foot hard on the corner of the mat. This moment will forever be ingrained in my mind. I felt a sharp pain blaze up my leg, but I didn’t think anything of it. I’m tough; I can handle it. But, as the day went on, I could tell that my foot didn’t feel right.
After I told my mom about my hurt foot, she made an appointment with my doctor. The doctor examined my foot and said I had a bone that didn’t look right, but x-rays didn’t show any damage. He sent me to have special ultrasound of my foot taken to determine if there was a fracture in one of my foot bones. Sure enough, there was a tiny hairline fracture in my middle metatarsal. This bone is so small that the original x-ray couldn’t detect the break.
A cast wouldn’t heal such a tiny fracture because of its location, so I had to do a series of other things to heal from this little injury. I had to wear supportive tennis shoes every day, sometimes I would have to tape my toes together and I was required to drink what seemed like a gallon of milk every day to increase my intake of calcium.
The awesome part was that I could still dance, because it was just my foot that was injured. But, the foot is an essential part of dance. So, I had to dance with my tennis shoes on, I had to do everything flatfooted, meaning I couldn’t point my toes, rise up onto my toes or wear my pointe shoes. I had to do special floor activities to keep the rest of my body strengthened when I couldn’t do the full dance routine. The most frustrating part about all this was that I was preparing for a big performance and I needed to learn a dozen different dances without actually doing them full out.
Even though I didn’t have to wear a cast, my daily life and the rest of my body was greatly impacted by this teeny tiny fracture. This experience reminds me of how important every part of our body is, and how when one small part is broken or not fully functioning, the rest of the body is affected.
Such is the case of the body of Christ. All believers are members of “The Church Body” – the unit of people who work together to impact the world for God’s goodness and glory because they believe in Him, trust Him with their life and want to follow His calling. If one of us is broken, bruised or not functioning correctly, then the whole entire unit can’t fully function. It’s so important for each of us then to realize our role and the part we have to play. God has called every single Christian to something unique, something in which no other person can do. So, we can’t wait around for someone else to pick up where we slack off. No, we need to stand firm in our purpose and fulfill it fully so the Lord is glorified.
Plus, we need to support one another and encourage one another to pursue what God has called others to do as well. If we see someone who’s been a little discouraged or damaged, maybe they’re simply tired or confused, we need to provide the support, compassion and love they need to find proper healing so they can step in again and take care of their duty.