Being a body

The other day, I caught a bad case of The Comparison Bug when it comes to my running. I started worrying about things like pace and progress, even though I know that I’m forever a member of the Slow Running Club. So, I reached out to some of my Orange Crush teammates, and through their wisdom and encouragement, I realized once again what I do is enough. I am enough, and I don’t need to strive and work myself to the bone to prove my worth. In that moment, I needed them to remind me of that.

In church on Sunday, my husband reminded us all that we — the collective we — are not a machine. We are not cogs and gears and wheels and wires. We are a body, interdependent and mutual; we give and take; we need and rely on one another because, in the end, we belong to each other. We all have our own part to play, and our parts are not meant to mimic anyone else’s. They are unique and distinctive — but not meant to stand alone. Not either/or. Both/and.

So, I guess that’s why I’m simply baffled by the behavior of some who call themselves Christians this week in the conversations about debt forgiveness. If we are a body, don’t we want all the parts of ourselves to be healthy & whole so we, as an organism, can flourish? It doesn’t matter if you don’t have loans or you paid them off — your brother or sister or neighbor or coworker does. Our sacred text is, quite literally, full of examples of how the forgiveness of debts is holy. Of how much we’ve been given out of an abundance of grace. There is enough to go around, enough for all of us — more than enough, really. But there are people who need us to help them get it. Perhaps our problem is that we started looking at ourselves as a machine instead of a body. When a machine breaks, we throw out whatever part stopped working. But not so with a body. When part of a body is hurt, the rest of the body compensates for it until it heals. It releases extra white blood cells to fight infection. It uses pain signals to alert your brain. Monocytes activate to control inflammation. Parts work harder not because they have to but because they’re taking extra care of what has become weak. Isn’t that a better — whole-r — way to live?