14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 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!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 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, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
In 2013, seventy-year-old Jame McConnell, a British Royal Marine veteran, died. McConnell had no family, and staff from his nursing home feared no one would attend his funeral. A man tapped to officiate McConnell’s memorial service posted a Facebook message; “In this day and age it is tragic enough that anyone has to leave this work with no one to mourn their passing, but this man was family… If you can make it to his graveside… to pay our respects to a former brother in arms, then please try to be there.” Two hundred Royal Marines packed the pews!
These British compatriots exhibited a biblical truth: we’re tied to one another. “The body is not made up of one part, but of many,” Pual says (1 Corinthians 12:14). We’re not isolated. Just the opposite: we’re bound in Jesus. Scripture reveals organic interconnection: “If one member suffers, all the members suffer” (V. 26 NASB). As believers in Jesus, members of God’s new family, we move towards one another into the pain, into the sorrow, into those murky places where we would fear to go alone. But thankfully we do not go alone.
Perhaps the worst part of suffering is when we feel we’re drowning in the dark all by ourselves. God, however, creates a new community that suffers together. A new community where no one should be left in the dark.
When have you felt most alone? How does God’s grace, kindness, and friendship help you deal with loneliness?
Is it true, God? Have you really placed me in a new community that knows and loves me in my suffering? Help me to believe this.