“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)
I appreciate Paul’s “all God’s children got a place in the choir” intentions in the verse above, but I resist being pigeonholed to one part of the body of Christ. Don’t we all play various parts of the body, perhaps every part eventually, depending on the situation and pursuant to our many gifts? If so, that leads to a sobering admission (hear me out on this):
Each of us must take a turn as the anus in the Body of Christ.
If I was an ancient editor of Paul’s letters, I might have inserted this pseudepigraphic addition: “Every body has an anus and so too does the Body of Christ. If you are not sure who is currently serving as that part of the body, consider looking in the mirror.”
Imagine centuries of ensuing commentary on the merits and demerits of that role. The anus produces unpleasant material, but without it, the body would become toxic and cease to function. For some, the anus is a place of intimacy and pleasure. Defecation is as natural and as common as breathing, a daily exhale of unneeded material. And yet, if excrement is not properly disposed of, people are vulnerable to disease.
Everybody poops and everybody makes embarrassing, unpleasant messes of other kinds at least once a day. Perhaps those dumps are necessary too and invite similarly important questions. Was it private or public? Is an apology in order as we clean up our mess? Do our experiences of being an ass inspire compassion when someone else takes their turn? Regardless, we can be grateful that excrement came out. Hopefully, it was processed in a healthy way for the wellbeing of the community.
The alternative really stinks.
Relax. Release. Refresh. Resume. Repeat.