"Toe-Nail Theology," a deep thinker's contemplation
Have you ever wondered why we lose toenails? Well, I certainly have: I've lost a ton of those suckers, especially during mountain hikes. Thus, I am here to expound on the Toe-Nail Theology. Obviously, if you are reading this, YOU are a deep thinker!!! Good Job!!!
As a deep thinker, let me give you an example of how God wants us to contribute. We are created in the image of God: our body, though our own, is meant to be shared within the BODY of the CHURCH. Check these scriptural references:
#1. Ephesians 5:23 says, “…as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior."
#2. Romans 12:1 clarifies this by stating, " I appeal to you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."
#3. 1 Corinthians 12:20 confirms, " As it is, there are many members, yet one body."
When I first asked Christ into my life 34 years ago and began worshiping as a Protestant, I really sought to be something significant, like an arm or an aorta. What I found was that no one deemed me as important as I wanted to feel; thus, I settled into my place as simply greeting at the church door once a month and cleaning up after communion, which meant I dumped the bread and wine into the sewer–the act of which led me into The Roman Catholic Church.
So through the years, I decided my place in His Body was simply a “toenail.” Yes, I was a lowly toenail, hidden away in a smelly left shoe. I had no real worth in the organization of His Body and His Bride, the Church.
A change of thought occurred when I went on a backpacking trip with my husband two summers ago. We climbed five miles straight up, packs and all, into the rugged Olympic Mountains in WA. Since I hadn’t hiked like this in 30 years, I had forgotten TWO important aspects of hiking.
First, your shoes should be one size too big; and second, when you come downhill, tighten the boots versus loosening them. So from that two-day trek came a swollen, blackened, left, big-toenail. Finally, after a few weeks, it painfully fell off, and a new one started underneath it. That new toenail took about a year to be normal.
So the moral of this “Toe-Nail Theology” story is: maybe you feel like a toenail within your Catholic Church. Maybe you feel that you have no value and no one really notices whether you are there or not. Maybe you are wrong!! Do you realize what a pain in the foot is NOT to have a toenail?
God needs you here, even if it is to smile at someone else during The Sign of Peace. You are part of His Body–The Church–The Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. Rejoice toenail; we need you desperately.
Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author
The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.