I met a girl at church camp one year who’s pinkie toe wasn’t actually on her foot, it was up a couple inches on her leg. I thought that was very interesting. In a show I used to watch on Disney Channel, called, “Phil of the Future,” there is an episode where Phil is embarrassed to go on a class trip because they would all be barefoot as they stomp on the berries to squish them. He was embarrassed, because in the future, nobody had pinkie toes anymore. In an article I read from wiseGEEK explaining the purpose of a pinkie toe, the writers stated that the issue of the pinkie toe’s function is said to be “frequently called into question.” It does the same thing as the three other little toes between it and the big toe. The article goes on to say, “It has been suggested that its contribution to human movement is so minimal that evolution will cause it to shorten until it eventually disappears.” AKA, why nobody in the family from the future had pinkie toes.
1 Corinthians 12 says in the Amplified version, “For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ.”
“If we’re all a part of the body, well, then, I’m just a useless pinkie toe!” my middle-school-self said in defeat.
“But the body depends on the pinkie toe for balance!” I was told in rebuttal to my argument. I went on to argue that the body is resilient and can adapt. The body doesn’t NEED a pinkie toe. The body can live without limbs and other extremities. A pinkie toe is the least of these.
In writing this article, I learned a lot from an article on wiseGEEK. For instance, the pinkie toe has its own tendons. That’s cool. And it helps with balance when standing upright by spreading when planted, and it helps with balance when walking by curling downward to push off or grip the ground. Interesting. There were a whole lot of medical facts that I didn’t really care about, but if you want to read about the muscles that control it and all those other specifics, you can click here.
Reading now from the NIV, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12, “(12) Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (14) Even so the body is not made up of one part but many.” Paul’s analogy here is not to be taken in the most literal sense. But he does go on to say, “(24b) But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it.” The body cannot function without the heart. It also needs the liver, the intestines, its stomach, and all the unseen parts to function well. It CAN function without a gallbladder, but not in the same way it once did.
My husband works in a hospital now. He sees stuff and tells me about it in generalities. People who function without various body parts or with adaptions made in the body is kind of astounding. The body is resilient, but, as Paul says in verse 26, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” [Refer to image of the poor traumatized pinkie toe above.]
I, too, know about adaptations on a personal level. My muscles don’t work how they once did or were originally designed to. Even in my first year of college some nursing friends commented on the size difference between my legs. The muscles have stopped working in one, and are even deteriorating a little. The other leg, though, has been over-compensating for just as long (it big).
Sometimes a life is shortened by a missing part, sometimes it’s just made more difficult. But if we’re all members of the same body, it doesn’t even matter which specific part I am or you are. Let’s all group up as Christ’s body: The Church. When one part suffers, may we all suffer with it.