The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now, you are the body of Chirst and each one of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:21-27).
We touched on this passage back on March 30th. However, thinking through the notion of the body again, and even the title of this weblog, it occurred to me that we are a disabled body. The Body of Christ is a disabled body. Why is that? I would argue it is because we have selectively not included or even have cut off parts of the body, people with disabilities who would desire to be participants in the Body of Christ. It is as if we as the Church (using the Body of Christ metaphor) are limping around without a foot, or are seeing with only one eye or are missing the fingers of one hand. In the same manner that a person might become used to a missing aspect of their anatomy, the Church has become used to functioning without all of the members of it's body. It would be interesting to try to determine whether there was a point in the life of the Church when we actually 'cut off' that part of the body, or whether it was in some way 'born' without all their body parts. To push the metaphor further, the Church might not know what it is to walk with two feet or see with both eyes or have a hand with all of the fingers intact. That is what I have alluded to in the past in this weblog regarding that we really don't know what the Church could be if we included all of those who would choose to participate. We have grown used to being a disabled Body of Christ, grown used to being an incomplete body.
Can you imagine cutting off your foot because it wasn't a priority to have it as a part of your body? Can you imagine thinking, "I will get by with one eye because it will be too expensive to try to live with two eyes." To me, that is what we as the Church are doing. We are by choice deciding to be a disabled Body of Christ that does not include all of the parts.