My decision to see a kinesiologist came after some friends observed me getting off a bar height chair at a restaurant to go to the ladies room. When I returned to the table, they asked me what in the world was wrong. I explained my right leg was giving me trouble, specifically my hip, and sitting for any length of time caused pain.

It was at this point they recommended I see the kinesiologist. I had already seen an orthopedic doctor who diagnosed me with bursitis and treated it with a cortisone shot. That helped for exactly 90 days. I decided I would give it a try.

In the first session I learned that our muscles are designed to work in tandem to facilitate movement that is helpful and efficient. My muscles were not doing that. In fact, much to my surprise, he observed that my right side was doing all the work while my left side hung back. No wonder I hurt.

Treatment began that day. To say it was painful would be a vast understatement. Bruising ensued but from the very first visit my hip pain changed. Each visit thereafter has brought greater relief. I am not where I want to be yet so I can’t tell you how this will end. But I am confident it will allow me to live pain free at some point in the near future.

As I pondered the pain I experienced and this treatment route, I couldn’t help but think about the body of Christ (or any other group of people that needs to function together). In the writings of the Apostle Paul, he compares the human body with the body of Christ. Just as in human bodies there are lots of parts – hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, nose – so it is in the body of Christ. Some are hands, some are feet, others are eyes or ears. We don’t all play the same role.

It’s so easy to be distracted by what someone else is doing, and to begin to wish for something different. And then I stop doing my part. When I am not doing my part, it puts extra stress on other parts and results in a body that doesn’t function well, resulting in pain. This pain is most often seen as fighting, gossip, discontent, finger pointing, over-commitment by some, laziness by others.

Just like in my body. I don’t know why my left leg decided to slack off. I suspect it is because somewhere along the way I learned to depend on my right leg. Over time, I developed bad habits which resulted in overuse of certain muscles and under use of others. And the result is pain during certain activities like extended periods of sitting.

One of the most difficult elements of this treatment is that I had to stop everything I was doing in the way of formal exercise. For years I have exercised regularly, but for the duration of this treatment, he asked me to stop everything except what he gives me. In one way, it has been a relief to just be able to step away and reevaluate what I am doing. In other ways, it is difficult. I find myself thinking about what I am missing. Am I atrophying? What if….? And then I fill in the blank with something different depending on the day.

That also correlates with our role in the body of Christ (or the community). There might be something that you have done for a long time and for some reason it brings you “pain.” Maybe it’s time to step away from it and reevaluate where you are involved. Maybe it isn’t what you are put together to do.

Imagine the body – what if the heart got tired of pumping blood and decided to be an ear – hearing seems more glamorous. After all, hearts are hidden away and can’t be seen but ears are right out on display. Everyone can see them and they get to be fitted with jewelry! Yes! An ear is just what the heart wants to be!

Well, that’s ridiculous. We all know the heart doesn’t have the ability to hear. It isn’t designed that way. And who would do the heart’s job? How would the blood get around the body?

But how often have I tried to do exactly that? My role seems insignificant because it is hidden or less obvious. I want to be in the light where everyone can see me. I want to flash and be on stage. When we leave our role to attempt doing something else, we risk causing pain in the body.

When I don’t fulfill my role, body chaos ensues. I limp along trying to do the thing that seems glamorous or flashy. But if it isn’t what I am designed to do, it creates pain. Pain is there to alert the body that something is out of whack. If I don’t listen, it gets worse until I medicate or listen.

The road back to health in community may initially bring more pain. But it is temporary and for your good, just as in my treatments with the kinesiologist. If you find you aren’t in the right spot or that you have been trying to be the ear when you are the heart – here are a couple of observations that might prove helpful:

  1. Acknowledge the pain – you will never know what it means to live in a place of deepest contentment if you don’t admit there is pain in what you are doing right now.
  2. Step away from what you are doing – a period of inactivity not only gives room for new ideas, but helps to allow new interests to develop.
  3. Expect moments of intense, momentary pain – developing new patterns of thinking and doing isn’t easy. In this phase, honest feed back and constructive criticism are necessary so be willing to hear what others have to say.
  4. Be willing to change your mind – in order to truly be the best version of yourself operating on all cylinders, you have to be willing to change your mind about what you will do. If you thought your life was meant to be lived on a stage and you are actually the backroom lighting person – that will require a change of heart and mind.
  5. Do the work – nothing new will happen if you aren’t willing to do the work of exploring new roles. It might mean taking personality assessments, working with a counselor, going back to school, learning a new skill – the options are endless.

Yes, I am seeing a kinesiologist to help my muscles learn new habits in the hope that I will live without pain. There is so much life to enjoy, grandchildren to play with, worlds to explore and I want to do it all without being restricted by pain and weakness. So I continue the treatment.

I’m also learning how to live confidently in the body of Christ. It looks differently than I expected, but I can honestly say that I have never been as content as I am right now. This change has been painful and wrought with difficulty, but worth every moment.

I invite you to join me in understanding the various roles we play in community and in the body of Christ.

Until next time…

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

2 Comments on “One Body, Many Parts”

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