One of the weirdest feelings for me, is getting my mouth numb for a dental procedure. I remember the last time I had that done, I couldn't feel my bottom lip for what seemed like an hour afterwards. I remember taking a drink and drooling all over myself. I also remember even nibbling on my lip with the amazement that I couldn't feel a thing. Of course, the numbness wore off and the drooling occurrences were decreased greatly and the nibbling began to hurt. It’s the strangest feeling to have a part of your body be connected but unable to feel it.
In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul compares the Church to the physical body. This analogy applies to the smaller church body, which is a single congregation but it also involves the larger Church which includes all believers in Christ.
In that, Paul calls us to a connection and heart for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world to the level of shared joy and shared pain. This is what he reveals in verse 26. “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
This fits with Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 6;18, “...be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
It’s easy to be disconnected and become numb to the needs, pain and persecution of other parts of the Church body that are thousands of miles away.
Just like with a numb lip, they are connected with us through Christ, but we get so far removed that we not only fail to feel their pain, but we fail to pray for them.
Last year, the Center for Studies on New Religions determined that 90,000 Christians were killed for their beliefs worldwide and nearly a third were at the hands of Islamic extremists.
Robert Nicholson of the Philos Project said to Foxnews.com, “There are many places on earth where being a Christian is the most dangerous thing you can be.”
I am grateful for the times I am woken up from the numbness I have for the rest of the Body of Christ by an article, statistic, or fellow Christian whose heart is broken over this tragedy to our brothers and sisters around the world.
Whatever brings the feeling back for you (and me), our heart needs to hurt with theirs...and we need to take our place in prayer!