The Intricate & Complex Body of Christ

Written by Alena Ricci; a student who enjoys the culture of Chile! Alena attends the University of Pittsburgh. See more of her posts at her blog


“I don’t have a dream.”

This was the response I got at the orphanage on Friday when I asked the kids what their dreams were.

And they responded that they don’t have any. These children literally have no ideas for the lives.

Because so far, they’ve had no reason to have any. Their lives have revolved around the same tiny dilapidated room and the same broken furniture for as long as they can remember.

Admittedly, this was not something I was prepared to deal with. I never expected this response.

Because I cannot imagine a world where I have no ideals for my life. Because God has given me opportunity after opportunity to have privilege after privilege. God has given me chance after chance to continue to follow Him and He has given me example after example of men and women around me so that I could learn to be who I need to be for His kingdom.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading in 1 Corinthians 12: the Body of Christ. And I’ve always imagined the body of Christ and the members as the hands, the feet, the brain, the eyes, etc.

The visible stuff.

But then I started thinking…what if being part of the body of Christ means being one of the 30 trillion red blood cells floating in your body, or a dendrite on a neuron, or the positively charged sodium ion in the synapse?

What if being part of the body of Christ means that we might be one of the parts that no one sees or notices until they study deeper, unless they know the body? Does that still count, is it still as important as being like, the whole brain?

What would that mean for my own role in God’s work?

I mean, think about it: what if no one is the hand? What if instead, the hand is a collection of the epidermal cells, and we’re each a cell, or what if we’re the mitochondria in the cell?

The reality is, though, that every single part matters. And that’s what I realized at the orphanage. These dreams that we have for our lives don’t just come from the brain. But they come from our hearts.

And our hearts are pumping blood, which is full of oxygen molecules and red blood cells and plasma and other stuff that is so necessarily important to our survival it’s ridiculous.

There’s a song that I really like and it says that God is the One who makes our hearts actually beat. He is actually making the oxygen attach to the outer surface of the cells to be carried around the body.

That is ridiculously intricate.  But that is God. God is an intricate God.  He is detail-orientated, because every single thing matters to Him.

These children may not have dreams right now, but every single moment of their lives is precious to their Creator, and that’s what matters right now. That they are being preserved for the moment when they can look around and discover what God’s dream is for them.

This is not an easy reality for me to accept, to be honest. I wanted to sit down and tell them what to do, that they could be doctors and teachers and whatever, but unfortunately, that’s not my calling there.

Mine is to be a fiber in the iris of the eye so that they can see the color of the world around them and find the beauty in it to chase it.

Because that’s the body of Christ: this moving, active, intricate body that is so complex it’s mind-blowing.

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