What if one of your organs decided to stop doing its job?
At first glance, this may look like an advocate for organ donation. It is not.
You need your organs and it is totally up to you what happens to them after you go.
But, there is another organ.
It plays Silent Night every Sunday at the Greenville Baptist Church in Iowa. Luretta Valentine made that magic happen for forty-two years. Now, the thing plays on its own, via a copper pianola roll, recorded by her a decade earlier.
A mosaic of Families gather here once a week to do something that is becoming ever more rare these days. They behave.
Luretta use to teach Sunday school at Greenville Baptist before she went to the place she use to call her waiting room. Heaven was her waiting room. She was known to have a top-ten list. Ten things that were waiting on her when she’d arrive.
It was all of the best things. Some were things she had known on Earth, but had lost, like her Father. Others were things she really wanted but just never could quite grab, like her fame. And some, well, she kept some secret, and that was because she believed that everyone deserved a little privacy, especially if they behaved themselves once a week!
In general, her theory was, and it was just a theory, that you couldn’t have all of the very best things in life because, well, what would be left for Heaven?
All the kids seemed to like it, and it seemed to help when Tommy and Linda got into an argument about who got the best seat, or the last candy corn.
Now, I say people gather down at Greenville Baptist to behave themselves because of another saying Luretta was known for. She’d say that she enjoyed seeing people behaving cuz that just meant that folks be having to do something for someone other than themselves.
“If you’ll just be, then you’ll sure have,” she’d say, “Now, you behave!”
There’s a way things are meant to be in life, and if you ignore the commonest of sense, things will start to get real uncommon real quick.
Imagine if plants stopped reaching for the sun just because they had better things to do.
No, there’s order that must be followed. At least once a week.
Why not on Sunday? A day named by those ancient archaic devices called trees for the one they worship; their life-giving God. Limbs reaching up at the holiest of holy in the sky.
Literal tears, evaporating from their leaf tips, linking Heaven and Earth, becoming cloud angels, and then pouring down life somewhere else needed by the body known as Mother Earth…
And on the Sabbath, Luretta played, and the people became students of forgotten elders as they lifted their arms to God above.
And there were always tears. Still are.
People like Luretta are a part of what is called The Body. We all have one, and so does God.
Now, Luretta seemed to figure out how to replace herself with an artificial counterpart (assuming she was a hip or some such piece of God’s glory), but could you imagine what might have happened if Luretta just decided to stop playing her part?
Well, the air wouldn’t sound so sweet, for a a start!
Just ask yourself if your spleen suddenly up and decided to stop making platelets of blood for the rest of your body. It would take a world of work, outside and in, both from the rest of your body and likely from those of others to get things running again.
We’re all parts of the body of God, and we all have a role. Personally, I think we act a little like blood, as we traverse the entire system, becoming different organs at different times. I mean, who hasn’t felt like they were the Heart of a great day of blessing at one time or another?
And we’ve all definitely been the distal end of the large intestine once or twice. You know, I’ve heard that’s how all we fetuses got a start. As a little butt hole. Has something to do with everything needs a way out that finds its way in… I don’t know, weird.
Thing is, our organs aren’t playing for their own good. They are all doing a job for some other part of the body that eventually helps the whole. Even if its the A-hole.
You can’t cut down a swath of forest in the Pacific Southwest without causing unrest in forests of the Eastern U.S. according to studies published in May.
Likewise, you can’t plant a bunch of trees in the U.K without eventually rising some new weather pattern of unknown consequence. Every part of the body works for other parts, and it is not always seen by the person doing the work.
An Indian poet who died in 1941 named Rabindranath Tagore once said, “The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.”
Luretta Valentine is a stimulator of bodily function. Her spirit still draws those to praise the lord and tithe, in whatever small part they can, so that the church, another body of God, can work in ways unseen.
Greenville Baptist’s outreach program, along with churches across the globe, take small tithes from those more fortunate and get it where it needs to go. The church’s people are the body, and tithes are the blood.
A church in Haiti is held up through a pandemic. Hungry children get fed. A face is turned up to the light…
There is always time to put your hands and heart to work. Be the gift. Start on a Sunday.
There can be no greater feeling in Heaven or on Earth than the pleasant surprise of a gift while you are fully involved in giving to others.
Then, you will find that there is also time to stand with your arms upraised and let your tears flow free in Thanks.
What part of the body are you?
Comment below and start a conversation.
Jay Horne is an author and publisher out of Bradenton, Florida. He is a husband and father of four.
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