Losing a finger

thI cut my finger doing a weekend project and now I have a finger that’s throbbing. But that’s a small matter that will be healed up in a day or so. Right now we have a more serious issue. We have a finger that is throbbing in our body and we have to do something about it.

Paul says we are the body of Christ and if part of us hurts — a foot or a hand, an eye or an ear — we are all affected. A dear brother, one of our most frequent commenters and close to the heart of many of us who have gotten to know him, took offense at something I wrote recently, commented about it and felt misunderstood in the resulting replies, and apparently has removed himself from us. This is unfortunate. It’s true that he has done this to himself, but we can still tell him how much we miss him and that in spite of what he thinks, he can never really leave us because he is a part of this body and this just means we have a finger throbbing right now and it feels terrible.

This calls for love and understanding. This person needs us and we need him. Regardless of the reason, nothing is more important than this — that we are one in Christ. No one part of the body can say to the other “I don’t need you.” All parts are indispensable. This is true for all of us. So Mark, we’re not buying it. We’re not buying the fact that you don’t need us, because, even if you think you don’t, we need you. My finger is throbbing right now, but how foolish to deal with a little cut by cutting my whole finger off and going through the rest of my life with four fingers on my left hand. How foolish, indeed, when in a couple days, I won’t even remember that I cut it.

“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). So Mark, give us cause to rejoice. Come back. We were born with ten fingers and ten toes; we’d like to stay that way.

As for tonight, we have a most incredible guest for our BlogTalkRadio show. I know you can hear all our shows on demand, but there’s nothing quite like being there with us live. Enric Sifa is a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda although he lost both parents before he was six. He spent the next six years fending for himself on the streets, and then as a teenager, learned three chords on a guitar and wrote a song that won Rwanda’s equivalent to American Idol and the rest is a history we’re going to find out about as we chat with him tonight. Believe me, you won’t want to miss it. Why not click below, bookmark the site and join us at 6pm Pacific (9 Eastern)?


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18 Responses to Losing a finger

  1. I just flipped back thru the comments. I couldn’t follow the discussion path very well. But, I was glad to see a discussion path, painful as it was. Hopefully Mark will realize this is a good place for a discussion. The messages are meant to get us thinking and get us studying God’s word and how we apply it in our world today. And often the discussion does add even more depth. I’m thankful for Mark and others who are willing to stand up and discuss!

  2. Peter Leenheer says:

    Mark, your decision to leave grieves me. Your soothing remarks, filled with love and understanding are just what the Catch needs. Your comments toned down the most opinionated of us, and led us to a different place of understanding. For me it became easy to agree to disagree and let it rest there. We need each other and we are all sinners. This last statement is a difficult one to live out, because no matter how loving we are there always is a place of offense. Unfortunately with you it was found.

    What I am about to say to you may offend you again, but I am actually reaching out to you in love. I know of what I speak, I took offense at anyone who disagreed with me until God taught me to practice unconditional love. Man is that gut wrenchingly difficult. To love your neighbor is an action and not a feeling. Please take what I say to heart not to the place of offense.

    Jesus says and it is a most difficult statement, that has sobered my thoughts of offense, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us”. That someone has offended you is not your fault. Please find it in your heart to forgive, it will remove the festering of being offended.

    I always looked forward to your remarks because they are so tenderhearted. I miss you!

  3. Priscilla says:

    One of my favorite things about the Catch community is that everyone can speak their mind without fear of rejection. I have belonged to too many small groups where everyone thinks (or thinks they have to think) alike. There’s no lively discussion. – only safe answers. I love the Catch where we have many differing viewpoints. That includes My Catch Buddy Mark’s – come home ,Mark, we miss you.

  4. Suzan says:

    I had a few days’ backlog of Catches to read, so I only saw the comment exchange in response to Too many labels; too little time, after reading the follow on Catches. I often don’t read the comments, just my Catch email and move on for the day. What a God gift to get this new lesson. It was an example of how divided we’ve become in our world; how unwilling we are to hear opposing voices to our own view (aka, bias). In fact, there’s a separate organization, political party, group, TV station, church, etc., where you can hear only your view espoused and any opposition to it denigrated. It was an eye-opener to me how easily I am willing to step into that cultural rut without much thought. I was annoyed by the comments that didn’t agree with my own. I literally skipped comments that started down a direction I didn’t like and moved on to those that aligned with my view. Huh… This conversation is what makes me love the Catch, and particularly the Declaration of a Marketplace Christian. I need to hear the message, both when I agree and disagree, to be truly part of the body. We’re all human and struggling with our sinful frailty. Let’s give each other a little grace. I know I can sure use it!

  5. Ralph Gaily says:

    John, I have a strong feeling that if you would just clarify what you stated in that “labeling/Communist” comment the other day, this thing could begin to heal itself…. like that injured finger of yours. But if you just keep allowing everyone else to “answer” for you on such disturbing remarks as were made by you, then that “finger” just very well might get infected without proper care and disinfecting. People have lost fingers by not giving that needed attention to what a little “first-aid” would have prevented in the first place. I feel bad for our Mark. I have come to know him too, as have many here. You started this whole thing by making your outrageous comparisons/comments of Seeger, Communism, Jesus Christ, God, and His Church,…. odd bed-fellows without a proper definition given to us. You would do well for this site to apologize to Mark by simply answering his heartfelt questions, and in the future be more careful with your choice of words when labeling the One who gifted you with such abilities as you have. Step up, John.

  6. Mark S. says:

    Good ol’ loving & very kind Pastor John and the many kind loving and thoughtful friends I have found here. I got a pretty good chuckle out of this truth: “All parts are indispensable. This is true for all of us. So Mark, we’re not buying it. We’re not buying the fact that you don’t need us, because, even if you think you don’t, we need you.” How very kind and thoughtful..!

    Many thx to ALL of the post here!

    I’m back, it’s a bit too hard 4 me at least to hold on to the feelings of not being understood and I jus NEED to “let it go!”

    Has was suggested I do that back on the too many labels Catch by a few: like xmann50, Xavier and a bit by Sailaway/58 Tim – many thx my follow Catch partners… 🙂 And to my two very kind & thoughtful Catch buddies, Priscilla and Carole – you two wonderful women – are the BEST and I love you!
    PS Ralph G. it’s not that I disagree with what you wrote above, becauz I do tend to agree w/ most of your post, yet 4 me and only 4 me, 4 that all I can speak 4 is myself, I need to let it go.. 🙂

    • Ralph Gaily says:

      God bless Mark S. ….. just don’t give up on asking honest questions re: difficult comments. I imagine around many campfires on many nights long ago, the question was asked, ” What did that parable mean that you talked about today, Lord ?”

      • Suzan says:

        And Jesus undoubtedly replied with a question like, “What do you think it means?” Just as he asked, “Who do you say I am?” Probably plenty of rousing arguments among the disciples over meaning and who was right or wrong in their interpretation too!

      • Mark Seguin says:

        And God bless and His speed to you & yours, brother Ralph (hope u don’t mind me calling u my brother – we both went through this ‘fire’ together and i’ve come to appreciate you & your post) and let both promise each other, that we’ll never stop asking questions! I well learned that while in engineering – “the dumbest question is the one that is never asked”

    • jwfisch says:

      Welcome back, Mark! I’m so glad you made this decision. My finger feels better already. I trust you’re feeling better. You do keep an even keel going on the comment page and it was not very fun imagining the Catch without you. You have a definite place in the body and a place with us. Glad you’re back!

      • Mark Seguin says:

        Thx Pastor John, it’s kind of funny my sister took me grocery shopping today and when I told her about today’s Catch, tears came to her eyes… So we had a good lil cry together.
        PS then another very cool thing, hopefully you do remember my buddy Roberto from the grocery store that is a bit physically & mentally challenged and back when I having a hard time there, he’s the one that patted me on the head while I was offering an apology to him for an out-burst I had and while in my power wheel chair and said no problem w/ me buddy for I too have those kind of days. Well while I was leaving I see his boss awarding him this very nice looking & cool plaque 4 his continued good customer service skills and has he was receiving it, I jus happen to be going by him – And he quickly turns around and goes one of my favorite customers, because he is the only one that has ever told me he’s sorry and wraps he arms around me and a few customers and employees start clapping – it was sooo cool to have the pleasure to have experienced that w/ my buddy Roberto – He makes me smile ever time I get the chance to see him!

      • Mark Seguin says:

        wanted to also say Pastor John: your cut finger is in my thoughts & prayers… 🙂

    • Bare says:

      Hey Mark, So glad you are back man. I am always stoked to see people being passionate. It doesn’t matter if I agree with them or not. Being ticked is actually Biblical….

      Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
      Ephesians 4:26 RSV

      I have always loved that is says….Be angry. I never had any trouble with that part!! : ) It was the rest of the verse that was and is a struggle for me.

      Thanks for hanging in with us.

      • Mark Seguin says:

        Like to thank-you Bare 4 your excellent post and discussion of the verse – plz don’t feel alone 4 i too find the “Be angry…” the easy part… the rest of following that verse, will come to be easier for me – ‘cauz 4 me, i believe you get what you say, or write in this case… 🙂

  7. Ralph Gaily says:

    Suzan…. Probably so, as they were just men being exposed to God in the flesh among them. But, I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit sorted out all those rousing arguments over the meaning of His words and deeds, and the proper interpretation of why the Creator came here for us, including all the right and wrong interpretations….. so that we could get the “straight scoop” on God’s Truth in our Bibles today. May we read it well, and receive His Life within… by faith.

  8. Mark S. says:

    Let me please share this w/ my friend & brother in the Lord Peter Leenheer 4 it kind of ties in to what you posted to me. In that some advice my anger management therapist once gave me: When you can’t accept another’s opinion – it’s more a reflection of you & your poor self-esteem and not of them…

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