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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Immodest Needs

Today our new heat pump was installed by Eddy and his assistant from SUB ZERO Air Conditioning.  I stayed home from work in case any issue was to arise.  Nothing of moment came up.  I thought electric might be a problem, since it is a slightly larger model, but this was not the case—it pulls the same amperage (20) as the old heat pump.  Eddy introduced us to Pandora (the internet music site) and proved himself to be an honorable man.  They made a nick in the plaster removing the old inside air handler, and Eddy made an appointment for Thursday of next week to fix it.  All in all, the two installers did an admirable job.  I remember Paul’s description of the church members being part of the body of Christ.

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.  If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.  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 cease to be part of the body.  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? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

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!”  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 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, while our presentable parts need no special treatment.  But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it (I Corinthians 12:14-26  NIV).

Rightly or wrongly, I have always taken this passage to refer to multiple organizations; even to society has a whole.  Its stress on equality of worth and concern coincident with specialized skills means that we are all part of what must be viewed as a family.  We all need each other.  I am struck (especially when things break down) at how little I know, at how little I can accomplish alone.  I have come to view all jobs rightly seen and appreciated as complex and requiring skills that only ignorance or arrogance discounts.  The need for warmth brought this lesson home again.  It is a simple thing (this need for warmth) invoking vast complexities, myriad skills, and even multiple companies to accomplish.  Kathy and I have been given a huge gift this Christmas—our home will be warm in winter and cool in summer thanks to the family of man and to the universal laws and resources of creation itself.  We have a modest home with deceptively simple but actually vast and immodest needs.

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