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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)

TITLE: Chopped Into Pieces
By Temple Miller


“Well, Tim,” Dr Rajah began in his lilting Indian accent, pronouncing each syllable distinctly. “Your urinary tract infection is clearing up enough for me to release you from the hospital.”

“Praise God,” I said, heaving a sigh. Tim’s face still looked like his sheet, but he mustered a smile. In a ward-like room with twelve other sick men, he was more than ready to go home.

“Now,” Dr. Rajah continued, “you will need to follow some instructions.” He handed me a list of directions, asking, “What is your religion?”

“Protestant,” Tim replied.

Impatient, he said, “No, what kind of Christian are you?” The doctor’s forehead began to wrinkle and his fingers moved with agitation through his glossy black hair.

Puzzled, Tim and I just looked at him. We didn’t know what answer he was looking for. Abruptly, the doctor threw his arm up in the air.

“You Christians have chopped the body of Christ into many pieces,” he said dropping his arm like an ax. “What piece of Christ’s body are you?”

We were struck dumb. Just a young couple – Bible college students – we had no answer for him. Dr. Rajah went on to explain if our religion allowed, he wanted Tim to drink two beers a day. Beer is a highly efficient diuretic, and it would help flush the infection from his system.

As I remember that day, I wish I had known how to explain the body of Christ to Dr. Rajah.

Rather than diced pieces of Christ’s body, denominations are living, growing parts of our Savior’s body. Throughout history, God has taken wars, strife, splits, growth, new ideas, and even petty disagreements and healed the wounds of those who were willing, grafting them firmly to his body. Of course, some movements, unwilling to bond, have faded away.

But as various denominations developed and represented a part of the body, they became like missionaries; those sent to deliver the gospel to a group of people untouched or disillusioned by previous traditional deliveries. Some of the churches are distinctly unique, and others are quite similar.

I’m reminded of an evening sunset, one I remember in particular. On my way home that day, I drove around a deep curve, up a steep hill, and into an explosion of color. The lingering sun had cast a bright amber glow behind a stunning array of colors.

The sky was a panorama of baby blues, marine blues, and the lightest-barely-blue. Loud, bright pinks and soft pinks swam with creamy vanilla across the horizon, splashing with silky peach tones and swirls of sweet violet satin. These beautiful colors did not simply lie across the horizon. No, they danced around arm in arm. Like an ocean wave, they intermingled, cresting here and falling there.

So too, the body of Christ is a variety of dancing colors, textures, sounds, scents, and flavors. Each part of the body ministers to group of souls who respond best to its particularities.

Dr. Rajah had it all wrong. Christians haven’t chopped Christ’s body into pieces; we are all beautiful parts of his anatomy.

Only God can view the wondrous masterpiece that together, we form. And like the sunset, we look spectacular.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 723 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Cartwright12/13/07
I love the personal vignette you began with and as well the upbeat slant of your devotional.

Your descriptions are stunning.

If you don't mind I will pick only one tiny nit? The 6th paragraph from the bottom threw my focus a bit, but then it could just be me.

In any case, this is excellent writing.

Jan Ackerson 12/14/07
Wonderful! The opening story grabbed me, and the closing metaphor is glorious.
Sheri Gordon12/14/07
This is written very well. An intriguing story at the beginning, with an important message at the end. Good job with the topic.
Jim Hall12/15/07
Great description and a great lesson. You did very well!
Ann Renae Hair12/16/07
I loved this piece...especially the sky. Well done.
Karen Wilber12/16/07
Great opening story - fantastic ending - and I love how you finally came up with an answer to the doctor's question. This one is definitely a keeper! Keep on writing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/16/07
This is excellent writing with a clear definition of the body of Christ. I loved your description of the sky as an analogy for what followed.
Yvonne Blake 12/18/07
Wow! I liked the picture of the sunset...good description.
It has a good conclusive ending.
Joanne Sher 12/18/07
Extremely creative, and I LOVE the analogy. Engaging.
Sally Hanan12/18/07
Great writing. It would have been clearer if you had stuck to Tim's story--with 750 words it is hard to mix stories and have them flow well. With one you can do so much more and give it the full treatment it deserves.
Dee Yoder 12/18/07
Love this! The doctor's comment is quite funny in a way, and the ending analogy is really very beautiful.
Sara Harricharan 12/19/07
Very interesting! I liked how the title tied in with a key question. Nice job. I liked the descriptions of the sunset too.

RED PEN: I think there's a POV slip up where Tim answers in 1st POV, as "I".
Paula Titus 12/19/07
After reading several pieces on how the body of Christ has failed (and they all have their points) -it was truly refreshing to read this uplifting and beautifully written piece. Thank you.
Nathan Perkins01/12/08
I'm going to have to read all your stuff. This is great!
Linda Watson Owen01/16/08
Temple, this is absolutely wonderful! I'm so glad I clicked on your name and then on this title after a month of being in and out a lot. I do so look forward to reading more of your work! Your prose is magnetic and poetic, a great combo in writing. The Lord's hand is on your pen and keyboard ;-) Write on!