Many parts, one body

Originally Appeared in : 9904-2/14/19

Two of our very dearest friends celebrated the marriage of their daughter last week, a strange new event where we are no longer peers of the bride but of the mother of the bride. How very surreal to watch our good buddy Dennis walk his daughter down the aisle, when it seems like just a few weeks ago we were all members of each other’s wedding parties.
Susie, the bride’s mother (and my friend since we were 8) did an amazing job of drawing in all those people who asked what they could do to help. One of her sisters was in charge of decorating for the reception; a good friend was tasked with the flowers for the altar. Another friend did the wedding pictures, and neighbors pitched in to bartend at the reception and help with clean up. Our favorite English teacher proofed the program for typos and grammar; several aunts threw the bridal luncheon ­— and Susie’s oldest brother, Father Tim McKeown, celebrated the Mass and witnessed the marriage.


Talk about a family affair.


I was reflecting on this the day after the wedding, thinking about how much fun it had been to be a part of things. I considered the beautiful choreography of all these moving parts, how so many people came together, and through our service we each felt a great connection to the events of the day. 


It wasn’t just about watching all the love poured into this wonderful bride and groom, but the great joy and honor of getting to serve.


My job was basically to be the second self we all wish we had in busy times. A few weeks before the wedding, Susie and I went to lunch, and I typed out all the thoughts she gave me about who, what, when, where and why (along with gathering phone numbers of everyone involved with any kind of job). This greatly appealed to my journalistic nature, and I loved writing down all the information she would need handy in the days leading up to the celebrations. 


On the day of the wedding, I drove Susie around and took her where she needed to be. We picked up the wedding dress, checked on a few things at the reception site and grabbed some much needed Diet Coke and chicken sandwiches. A few hours before the wedding, I brought her and her younger daughters to the church to get ready for pictures, and after the wedding I drove them to the reception.


During the day of wedding, I was struck by the honor it was to be a part of helping keep my friend sane and happy. All of us serving were simply doing our part, the things we had been asked to do. When I told Susie later how humbled I was that she allowed me to serve (so often it’s easier to tell people we have it under control), she said she really thought about all the people who offered to help and considered what they would enjoy doing. She considered their gifts and abilities, and sure enough there was a job for everyone.


Each person was easily able to do the simple task to help our friend, and because we were operating out of our gifts and abilities, we each felt energized. We were all needed, in totally different and important ways.


The experience reminded me of the scripture about the Body of Christ. There are many parts of the Body of Christ, and each part is important and necessary — and totally different. 
What a beautiful reminder of the important part we each play, in our own unique way, to build the Church and Christ’s body here on earth. 


The best part to me, in the midst of serving my friend on this special day, was the great joy I felt in doing the job that was asked of me. I didn’t spend the day wishing I had another job or looking to see if another person’s job was more important than mine. The great joy I found in the midst of my service was knowing I was doing what my friend Susie needed me to do, and in a way that used the gifts and abilities God has given me.


May we each go about our roles in the Body of Christ with this same energized freedom. We each have an important, non-transferable job that only we can do for God. May we celebrate whatever that job is, and be filled with peace and gratitude as we do that thing God needs us to do.


Rachel Balducci is a wife and mother of six. She and her husband Paul are members of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Augusta, GA. Her latest book, Make My Life Simple, is available on Amazon.

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