Friday, January 8, 2010


It's been too long. Those of you who know our family well or follow us on Facebook know that on December 2 we were blessed with a son, Corban Ranard, who weighed in at 9 lbs. 10 oz. and was 21 inches long. After the weeks and months of anxiety and waiting, he arrived just a few hours after his due date, via C-section, which was a fearful prospect before it happened but actually turned out to be not so bad. The last month has been full of family visits, holiday celebrations and adjusting to life as a family of four.

Even though we live 700 miles from family and most of our friends, we were truly blessed to have our parents present before and after Corban's birth to help with household chores and even to give Phil and me a week without a toddler before we traveled home for the holidays. I don't know how we would have done it without them. We delayed reality for a while, but it was a great help to have so much support during my recovery.

I've had lots of time to think, even if I don't have lots of time to publish those thoughts. One thought I wanted to share came to me while I watched my dad try to fix our strands of Christmas lights as we decorated our tree. Of the two strands, only half of one worked, which would have made for a dimly lit tree. While Phil was out running errands, and picking up two new boxes of lights, my dad set out on a search for the lights that were causing the problem. After a diligent search of both strands, he found the problem on one strand and fixed it so that all the lights worked. The nonworking half of the second strand was beyond repair, so he cut it off and wrapped the exposed wire on the working strand.

The second strand reminds me of the church or what the Bible calls the body of Christ. The purpose of a strand of lights is to shine, as is the purpose of the body. "You are the light of the world," Jesus tells his disciples. And like the strand of lights, we're all connected. So, if one member experiences a problem, it affects the rest. Yet, I wonder, how many of us are like the half strand that was working, happily shining our lights, not knowing that the rest of the strand was dark, affecting the overall brightness of our light?

"For the body is not one member, but many. ... And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it." -- 1 Corinthians 12:14, 26-27

The body of Christ, His church, is only as bright as the weakest member. I can't effectively show the light of Jesus if other members of the church are struggling to even light in the first place. I'm praying for open eyes to see the unlit lights around me and for wisdom to help them shine again.

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