The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12 (NIV)
I’ve reached a milestone in my life. My internal thermostat has shifted. My forties brought raging PMS, memory issues, irregular cycles and amazing hot flashes. I joked that I carried around my own personal heater. In winter, I went outside in shorts and a tank shirt and danced for joy on a cold day. I slept with two fans blowing on me and only a sheet for cover. I never wore a jacket and when I entered a room, scouted out the air conditioning vent and positioned myself below it. I suffered embarrassment when in a meeting, I would suddenly begin to sweat and my face turned red. Recently, I have noticed a change. Even on a mild fall day, I am cold. My jackets are getting use after a decade of hanging in the closet, and I am thinking about buying a new Christmas sweater instead of the Christmas T-shirts I used to wear. I pile the blankets on the bed and wear a pair of sweatpants and socks around the house. I believe I am officially through perimenopause and into that final phase of life, the big M, menopause. Soon, I will be wearing a sweater in mid summer and asking everyone to turn off the ceiling fans. I think of my grandmothers and how I used to wonder what could make them so loving in spirit, but chilly in the flesh. Now, I know. Like my grandmothers another thing I have taken to is wearing something on my head when I go outside in the wind. I remember my grandmother always fussing over my boys when they went outside without a hat. “They’ll get an ear infection,” she warned. Sure enough, last week, running around outside in the cold for History Fair, I developed an ear infection. By the end of the week, I was feeling woozy and not just because of fatigue. My balance was off, and my ear was really hurting. It ached so bad that even my hair hurt. It seemed that entire side of my head was in pain. I stayed in my pajamas all day on Saturday and self medicated and feel better now. But, it reminded me that in the body of Christ when one of us is hurting, all of us hurt. A fellow church member’s nineteen year old son is dying of cancer. He has been in and out of treatment for two years, but the doctors have no more tricks up their sleeves. Decisions will have to be made this week, and hospice will most likely be called. Though she knows that life does not end when his physical body finally gives up its fight, she is deeply troubled by what is to come. I do not know her well, it is not my son, yet, I feel some of her pain and suffer alongside her. My ear hurt and as a result my whole body did not feel well. So it is with the body of Christ.