Our theme for 2019 is “The Body.” Today we are exploring that theme with the blog…..
When The Body breaks down
Tim Schindler serves as the Associate Pastor of Youth and Worship at Georgetown Baptist Church in Georgetown, Kentucky where he lives with his wife, Amy, and four awesome kids. He studied at the University of Kentucky and Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY and has been in youth ministry for 21 years, with the last twelve at GBC. You can follow him on Twitter @timschindler.
As I sit here typing this post, I am wearing an eye patch.
Over the past couple weeks I have had to explain to a lot of people what is going on with my right eye. About two months ago I noticed some blurriness in that eye. So I went to visit my regular optometrist who told me I had some floaters in the eye and was just getting old. Nothing to worry about.
Well, it steadily got worse. It was like I was wearing glasses with a great big smudge in the middle of the right lens. I had some peripheral vision, but I kept having headaches and dizziness. As I led worship, I would have moments where I couldn’t see my music and lose my place. My lack of depth perception was causing me to bump into things and misjudge where to place things. Eventually I called and made an appointment with an ophthalmologist to see what was going on. Turns out it is posterior vitreous detachment at the macula, and that I would need surgery to repair it. Something called a “vitrectomy” and “an epiretinal membrane peel.” It does not sound fun.
At the same time this has been happening with my sight, I also experienced another breakdown in The Body… this time the breakdown was in a part of The Body of Christ where a state denomination with which I and my church have long been aligned kicked us out.
In Kentucky, the state’s Southern Baptists made a decision to disfellowship with churches that also supported the moderate Baptist network, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). Leading up to the official vote, those in leadership of the Kentucky Baptist Convention misrepresented our church and the CBF, chose to avoid meaningful discussion with us, maneuvered motions and votes to get their desired outcome, and ultimately chose control and exclusivity over unity and partnership.
Admittedly, I am disappointed. You don’t just recklessly cut off parts of the body without trying your absolute best to keep it intact. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’” (1 Corinthians 12:21) In the body, unity isn’t just a nice thought if you happen to agree on everything. According to the apostle Paul, unity goes beyond mere uniformity and is of the utmost importance. I have no plans to remove my eye from my body because of this breakdown in my vision. If there is a way for it to work with the rest of my body again and remain in one piece, that is the clear path forward.
But you know what? Later that day, after the official decision was made about that denominational partnership, I had a really great meeting with another youth pastor from a predominately African-American church nearby to talk about getting our teenagers together for an upcoming retreat. We talked about the hopes and dreams and possibilities for our next generation of students coming up in church. I am deeply encouraged by this new partnership for our youth ministry and can’t wait to see what happens!
My soon-to-be surgeon explained that my eye condition was strange to see in someone so young, but that my nearsightedness was probably to blame. He used the technical word myopic to describe my vision.