In a small French country town during World War II, there was a beautiful marble statue of Jesus with his hands outstretched, standing in the courtyard of a church. One day a bomb struck too close, and the statue was destroyed. After the battle was over, the citizens of the village decided to find the pieces of their beloved statue and rebuild it. Although it was not made by a famous sculptor like Michelangelo, it was part of their lives and they loved it. And so they gathered the broken pieces and started rebuilding it (see photo). The scars caused by the bomb made the statue even more beautiful. But there was a problem: They could not find the hands of the statue. One of them said in a sad voice: “You cannot have a Christ without hands for that is no Christ at all. We know Jesus had scars on his hands, but He cannot be without hands. We need a new statue.” Then someone else came along with another proposal to which they all agreed. A brass plate was attached to the base of the statue which reads: “I HAVE NO HANDS BUT YOUR HANDS.”
Years later Annie Johnson Flint saw that statue and its inscription and wrote these lines:
“I have no hands but your hands to do my work today.
I have no feet but your feet to lead men on the way.
I have no tongue but your tongue to tell men how I died.
I have no help but your help to bring men to God’s side.”
In the Bible we read about Jesus’ love for people, how He healed the sick and the blind. He fed large crowds of people. He had a passion for the poor and for those who were in prison. He even raised people from the dead. Jesus is not with his disciples in the body anymore, as He was 2000 years ago. Paul wrote that we are now the body of Christ. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it (1 Cor. 12:27). God calls all those who belong to Him, to be his body collectively. We are members (or parts) of his body.
We should not feel discouraged if we cannot perform the miracles which Jesus performed. He provides the means for and the knowledge about things which we can do. He asks us to be kind to people, to help those in need, to attend to the sick and to persuade people to become followers of Jesus. Jesus said: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).
Jesus loves his children and has so much faith in them that He entrusted his work to them. When we accept Christ as our Saviour, we become part of Christ’s body. From that moment on we are his hands, his feet, and his voice to do his work in this broken world.
Dear God, often we do things which are against your will for us. Thank you that You nevertheless trust us enough to do your work in this world. Amen.