by Wyndee E. Holbrook
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12 NASB
I attended a funeral for a 94 year old friend today.
She was always nice to me, but it seems I was an exception. She was notorious for exhausting people with her expectations and demands. You see, she took this business of the church being her family very literally. Other than her church, she was alone for most of the last couple of decades.
She moved to the United States in 1951 determined to better herself through education and to better the world by being an educator. She moved to our town to take a position at the local college some 60 years ago with only her bicycle and her degrees. Here she made a life and became a wife to a man several years her senior. And because she was a Christian, she was a dedicated church member.
At the funeral the pastor laughed as he reminded us that we were her “staff.” True, she had no qualms about calling on any of the 50 or so gathered today to help her when she needed something. She had quite the reputation for her demanding and exacting spirit. But there was something about her, something about that spirit that was irresistible even if irascible.
She had moved into a residential care facility (a nursing home by any other name) some years ago because of her loss of balance. Even though this move greatly limited her independence, she was grateful for the comfort of living in safety and community. She gained a new sense of balance that required giving up some of her previous priorities.
And isn’t this what she taught us by her calls to come collect her for a doctor’s appointment, a ride to church, buying her wine, or doing her taxes? Didn’t she teach us that to live in the safety and community we call the body of Christ is to give up some of our independence? To live in the sweet balance of needing and being needed?
Thank you Klara, may you continue to live out your calling and continue to educate us.
Draw an image representing the balance in your life with you on one side and those you support and who support you on the other. Tell them thank you during the next few days.