Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Body Parts by Jane Clamp

The person at the front announces the reading, and there is a slight scramble among those sitting to the left and right of me. The race is on to find the right page before it begins.

“What did he say?”

“Geronimo 36, 42, I think.”

photo courtesy of
I decide to settle back and simply listen to God’s word and not worry where it is within the Bible’s covers. Some passages spring to mind, of course, regardless of whether we know the reference. The one where we are described as components of the Body of Christ is one of those. I wonder if you’ve ever wondered what sort of body part you are?! It was many years ago that I worked out that I was a mouth in the Body of Christ. On boards of trust, in committee meetings, it was always me who said what everyone else was thinking but didn’t dare say. It wasn’t that I had more wisdom or opportunity. Most of the time back then, the words would burst from my mouth under a pressure I seemed unable to control. Consequently, there were many times I got it wrong. Foot-in-mouth disease. Frustration. Irritability. It was all there.

But God did not demote me. He didn’t say that I’d failed at being a mouth, so I’d have to be relegated to right little finger nail. No. Like any call of God, it sticks. He doesn’t change His mind, but works with us, shaping us until we bear His image more beautifully.

Recently, another aspect of me being a mouth has been put to the test. I had the incredible privilege of playing saxophone in the band at One Event, a Christian festival (formerly called Grapevine) held annually in Lincoln. The worship director was looking for someone who would play prophetically within the meetings. He sensed that person would be me and, sure enough, there were moments during the event when I felt God’s prompting to play -  breathing His word over the people in melody.

The book of Hebrews begins like this: “In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways…”  His word is not confined to those hallowed, wafer-thin pages. Sometimes we communicate His truth without words at all. Music, art and craft, kindness: all can have an effect on another person’s life without uttering a single syllable. If your writing is going through a dry patch, don’t think you have nothing to offer this needy world. Remember what St Francis of Assisi purportedly said, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”

Jane Clamp is Groups' Coordinator for ACW and leads Brecks, Fens and Pens in west Norfolk. She is a speaker and radio broadcaster as well as holding down the day jobs of interior designer and musician.