Friday, June 21, 2013

We Are One of Many - Postscript

Application Paper #1: One of Many, Postscript 

I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store in my car. We came home from guitar, I dropped off Ellie and left again. "We need bread," I said. Really, I needed time to process alone. Understanding was flowing that I needed to get on paper. Well, in my phone's "note paper."  My mind turns to a scripture:

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 by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
For the body is not one member, but many. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. . .
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. . .

 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
I suddenly feel like I might know Paul's motive behind these words; understand their meaning more deeply. He's explaining the dimension God works in - Christ specifically - best understood by the metaphor of a body. 

How much more beautiful would it be - not to take on the sole care and healing of the kidneys, then the lungs, the skin, the eyes, the heart - all himself, like separate organs laid out on an operating table, but to bind them together in one body where they can bless and help each other? The lungs taking the air and putting oxygen into the blood that then goes to the heart, the heart pumping the blood throughout the body etc. 

But then, on top of these parts helping each other, they all belong to the body of Christ - a body Christ creates, but also is the. . . spirit of? the master of? Just as I (the thinking part of me) am the spirit of my body, but with an awareness I can only imagine and do not possess.  He knows each "organ," each part. He is always with each and all, having all time for all just as I am with my body all the time. He is a vital part of them as they are a part of him, yet separate and individual. He is invested in their happiness, their happiness is His happiness. Their vulnerability, his vulnerability. Their pain, his pain.

And a man’s hand is his friend, and his foot, also; and a man’s eye, are they of his own household. (JST Matt. 18:8–9)

The power of his grace then is the "welding" agent; the atonement the act of at-one-ment that worked backwards and forwards through time so that there never was a time when such grace and at-one-ment was not active or possible. 

So, it's both, I have come to believe. Tender mercies, miracles, divine signatures that I have experienced have come because of the attention of family on both sides of the veil that are invested and interested in my progression and happiness. But my Savior knows and watches and feels intimately all that goes on.  It is directed by him - he is aware of each act the hands perform - for they are his hands. Maybe that's what Paul wanted us to see. 

I begin to think of it this way: The resurrection is joining the soul of man to the body. Christ has a body of flesh and blood and is a distinct person. But, in another way of thinking and by a connection I can only imagine, the gathering of Israel is like the resurrection of the body of Christ to the spirit of Christ in a macro way.  Each ordinance (and it's corresponding covenant) joining us to that body of saints, each act of obedience and submission of our will creating a healthier body, a body that acts in unity, as one.  

Behold, this I have given unto you as a parable, and it is even as I am. I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine. (D&C 38:27)