Dizzy Dean’s Big Toe

Brian Keepers

Read: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (v. 27)

In the 1937 All-Star game, baseball sensation Jerome “Dizzy” Dean was pitching for the National League. The batter, Earl Averill, crushed a line drive that fractured Dean’s big toe. Consequently, Dean had to change his pitching motion, which eventually caused arm and shoulder problems, forcing early retirement. Dean’s great career was ended prematurely by something as small as an injured toe.

To be raised with Christ in the Spirit is to be engrafted into Christ’s body, the church. Paul describes the church as one body with many members. Not every member looks or functions the same. Some are like a foot. Others like an eye or a nose. Still others like a hand. All the parts, though different, are necessary for the healthy functioning of the whole body.

This means that every member matters. No part is insignificant. God gives each of us unique personalities, spiritual gifts, and abilities. And we’re called to use these gifts and abilities to build up Christ’s body in unity and love. We’re also called to care for one another and share in each other’s joy and sorrow. When even the smallest part is injured or devalued, it impacts the entire body. Just ask Dizzy Dean.

In what ways are you using your gifts and abilities for the good of the whole body? How are you sharing in the grief and joy of others? —Brian Keepers

As you pray, ask the Spirit to help you maintain unity in Christ’s body and give thanks for the diversity of its members.