A few weeks ago “Uncle” M was speaking at the GWH Labor Day conference. One of the suggestions he made was to do a word study of the phrase “one another” in the Scriptures. If you compile everything it will give you a nice checklists for how the body of Christ is supposed to function. I like checklists. Sadly, though, my vision skills are not liking me at present, so I’ve settled on the following summary:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15.12
This is a tall order, no? But He wouldn’t command it without giving us the capacity to live it. His love is the gold standard of love – the definition of love we aspire to daily. And the outcome of loving one another is that you have the obvious stamp of His likeness:
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, that you have love for one another.”
As I’ve had the joy of getting back in touch with some folks from my inpatient days I’ve heard multiple times that the hospital staffers were surprised by the parade of visitors (all ages and walks of life) who came in and out of my room once visitors were allowed. One of my doctors (who took care if me while I was asleep so we’ve never “met,” technically) asked me via email, “Seriously, could you have any more friends?”
Apparently a high volume of visitors is not the norm, and the fact that so many of you came to pray in the waiting room (when I was still quarantined after surgery), and came to see me when I was well enough was a circumstance that pointed to the conclusion that “something’s different about this situation…” to onlookers.
Some friends even flew from MD to OR. I was too asleep to enjoy JLSS and JPAS (I knew they were there, though, bc I heard JLSS’s voice and dreamed that JPAS was the VP (of the United States), but I was awake for J and KAR. I recently asked J to tell me about their arrival since I don’t really remember it. They arrived right after I had face-planted in a major way since I thought I could still walk.
When I saw them for the first time I was rolling by in a wheelchair and I raised two fingers in front of my eyes and then gestured to them like, That’s right – these eyes are watching YOU! And when they saw that they were like, Yep, that’s her all right. She’s gonna be fine.
I didn’t know they were really there. They had both visited with me in my Old Life at separate times over the prior year so I just figured they were part of my dream. I supposed it was a little strange that they had to wear yellow gowns and purple gloves around me, but I was willing to overlook many oddities in order to believe everything was a dream in those days.
J told me I was very nice and always polite, but was like a distant version of myself. I believe that. I can remember my therapists talking with me sometimes – you know, regular conversational stuff, or funny things that just came up – and I could hear their voices and knew what they were saying, but I had a very delayed reaction. It was like they were calling to me from another world, and I heard the content of their speech, but did not recognize myself as part of the social context they were operating from until about 5 seconds after they said it. They were always nice and we carried on the conversations semi-normally, but I recall several instances of me just staring blankly in my chair until I rallied my wits enough to interact with them.
Now the “distant” days are over. One day M (37) apologized for getting all up in my space as she buckled me into the Zero G harness. “Oh, no, M – it’s fine – I used to live in the hospital!” I’m fully awake now so I’m prepared to engage like I used to. I’m not that distant version of myself anymore – this is “me” in living color, and with a greatly reduced social filter! Fasten your seatbelt.
PS. Remember that in order to be a beneficiary of the body of Christ functioning in top-form (loving one another), you have to be a known member.