Being the Hands and Feet of God

We are God’s Hands


The other day I was dropping my son off at wrestling practice when a lyric from a song on the radio jumped out at me and grabbed my attention. It was from the Matthew West song “Do Something.” The singer describes awakening and seeing the moral evils of “a world full of trouble,” including poverty and children being sold into slavery.” The following words grabbed my attention:

The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”

This is s sobering reminder that we–you and I–are God’s hands. If we are fulfilling God’s mission for our lives then we are part of the body of Christ, the current physical manifestation of God on earth. Paul advises us of this in his first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 12. An old Anglican prayer puts it so beautifully: “We are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy son.”

One of the first things that came to my memory as I drove away from the school was that joke, of unknown authorship, which I have heard more than once as a sermon illustration. It is called “I sent you a rowboat”.

A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbour came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.”
“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at heaven he demanded an audience with God. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.”

“Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.”

The corollary of this story would be this: Do you want God to rescue that man on the roof of his house? Then go grab your boat. Do you want God to do something about poverty and other ills? Find out what efforts might be underway already, and cooperate with the churches who are working in this area. Encourage and support others. One pastor elicited from me a large pledge and inspired me to launch this website–to add my voice to the public square in some small way–by simply inviting his audience in a sermon to “take the plunge”.

Is the problem that you have noticed, that is currently occupying your worries, something that no one else is trying to solve right now? Then, “tag, you’re it.” Pray for empowerment. Then roll up your sleeves.

C.S. Lewis had this to say about being the body of Christ, in his book Mere Christianity:

Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have heard of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved by Him. But in the meantime, if you are worried about the people outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is remain outside yourself. Christians are Christ’s body, the organism through which He works. Every addition to that body enables Him to do more. If you want to help those outside you must add your little cell to the body of Christ who alone can help them. Cutting off a man’s fingers would be an odd way of getting him to do more. (pg. 64)

(Image credit: “Jesus Christ–Christus Statue”, Jan 2006, posted at FLICKR, by midiman, available under Creative Commons license).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *