Forgiveness and above
There’s a good reason why “people are awesome” clips on youtube have amassed tens of millions of views online. There’s a deep satisfaction in seeing people’s dedication and discipline combining with natural skill to culminate in almost super-human feats that are beautiful to watch.
Conversely you may also be one of those semi sadistic people that love the ‘fail army’ youtube videos. These are clips of people who’ve attempted to make the ‘people are awesome’ category but ended up getting enlisted into fail army (I will concede these clips can be hilarious). I struggle with the clips that leave you wondering if the star suffered permanent damaged. Those clips can make one feel a little queasy.
Our hearts sink when we look at someone whose been injured and disfigured and has lost capacity to move their limbs the way their spirit inside wants to. The body clearly by design is meant to operate with a wide range of movements. The limited body, like a strait jacket to the spirit, hinders the ability to be free to express.
The body is a conduit for the expression of the spirit inside
There is a beauty, depth and seemingly never-ending capacity to the body. Much like the human body with its complexities and depths, the body of Christ is made up of billions of saints across the ages. We are joined together through the sinews of relationships, to make one multifaceted expression of the ceaseless grace and freedom that exists within Jesus Christ. The parallels are endless in regard to God’s climactic creation of the body and the spiritual truths that could be extrapolated, but I want to hone in on one.
Earlier in March this year I was praying and I had a vision of a body. Before me I saw a disfigured body. Ugly and contorted, limping with arms twisted and stuck in unsightly positions. The body was unable to move freely and had very limited capacity. I had no details but could assume the person had been through some kind of trauma or accident, maybe trying to do something awesome. The problem was it had healed up all wrong. It seemed there was an unwillingness to let the doctor put the joints back into place. I knew inside that the person thought that everything was ok, that enough things were working and they could survive, so they were not troubled and just accepted it. It was a picture of how we can be in the body of Christ
The body of Christ is a network of strategic divinely placed connections that are all connected through various practical facets like geographical callings, careers, experiences and hobbies that God knits together by his plan. What connects us is the relationships. We are all so unique yet called to function as one together. Somehow, I knew we weren’t quite reaching the potential destined for us.
“The eye cannot say to the hand I don’t need you.” 1 Cor 12:21
God has destined certain relationships to bring vital movement and expression to his body. Your current connections are most likely God ordained. Through life sometimes there are attacks on those relationships. I think we are well versed in knowing how to forgive. This is the survival that I saw in the vision. We are satisfied with doing the Christian thing and forgiving and blessing, but then are ok with cutting the supply of life from the joint. We need to go beyond forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the beginning of love but maturing of love looks like restored relationship
Forgiveness makes a platform for restoration. Jesus not only forgave Peter but knowing the purpose of his friendship, restored the connection. Love isn’t the issue, it’s the depth of love that we are willing to go to that will begin to bring life back to the limbs and joints that we may have cut off.
A restored relationship is like a joint getting its mobility back. Becoming one again in purpose, after the body has suffered damage, takes digging deep into the well of grace to find a whole new level of love for one another. We should open up the flow of blood that wipes every transgression away without memory and let that same grace flow to the part next to you. It takes time and patience and intentionality to see that the divine intention for connection is recovered. Whatever part of the body we are, the corporate function of the body is dependent on relationships and joints that God has placed next to us.
The design and purpose of the different joints of the body will be strengthened and healed and filled with life as the joints find the intended connection again. They will start to pop into the right place, not by our perfection but our commitment to a vision of a shining, healthy, nimble body ready to demonstrate superhuman feats only capable by a body yielded to His spirit.
The significance of this union happening would be a demonstration of love for each other, so overwhelming to the world, that it will eclipse all other evidence that Jesus was sent.
“Love one another fervently.” 1 Peter 1:22
Leigh lives on the Gold Coast. He loves to catch a wave, build business, dream big and preach the gospel
Leigh Clough’s previous articles may be viewed at