I received a going away gift for my six-month deployment to Afghanistan from a special young couple, Darryl and Kim McIntosh. It was a small, over-the-shoulder military satchel. I really loved this backpack. Somehow I managed to dislodge the zipper, which made it useless. As if this was not exacerbating enough, I had it stuffed with items I needed while in flight. I was determined to fix it before I left, but to no avail. However, my girls Christina and Kamille each put their efforts into fixing it. We looked up the term “broken zipper” on the Internet to find a solution and “Miss Fix-it Christina” was successful! She not only fixed the zipper, but also sewed extra reinforcement at the end to keep it from separating again. This led to the first “teachable moment” of my deployment.
I thought about how the teeth of the zipper must come together in a certain way in order for it to stay together and perform its intended function. When people in the Body of Christ are joined together as a zipper, the connection creates such a bond that we keep in what’s good and keep out what’s not good or needed. When that zipper is broken, it creates havoc. Just one faulty tooth in a zipper can cause the entire product to be ruined.
I learned the lesson that each one of us is needed to keep this Body of Christ together for the edification of the whole. Some of us may think we aren’t that important. In fact, we might think we wouldn’t be noticed if we disappeared. Yet, God has designed us to be linked perfectly together. Even one person missing or out of place can wreak havoc on the Church’s mission. I thought about the following scripture verses:
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ … For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Cor 12:12, 14-20, 27).