Recently, a friend said something in passing that nearly knocked me from my precarious balancing chair pose. She said, while torturing our trembling limbs with countless rounds of cobra and cat and every form of animal, “Balance is not that all parts weigh the same but that all parts create the whole”.
In my fog and pooling sweat, these words quickened my heart as all profound invitations do, the only sensation to pierce my otherwise numb body. I chewed on this for a moment and then for weeks. I am still not certain what my friend had intended to say, but what I heard was significant. Balance is not that everything looks the same and fits neatly into same-looking compartments. It is not a scale of equal measure or measure at all. Rather, each part very likely varies in size, shape and function which becomes less significant than that each part is highly valued for its contribution toward the complete.
This has tremendous implications. Balance is not linear; it does not require that we and our lives and the people in them look the same, or that we must “measure up”, or that we divide our time and interests into neat little boxes for “greater health”. Instead, it expects the participation together of us and our bits to create an equilibrium without want; fully, entirely unified.
In the bible, Paul writes*, “[You are] fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s house, built on the foundation…with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit”. Balance as God and Christ and Spirit and you and me joining together as a home for eternity. I much prefer this to demanding that everyone look and weigh the same as me or a proper and even division of right and portion.
Jesus says*, “I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you…So the last will be first, and the first will be last”. We all receive the kingdom. Fully forgiven, fully rewarded for our participation in his story. Glorious balance, solid ground, for us and our bits. If this is truly the case, we can stop trying to change one another and the gospel and ourselves to fit a standard operating procedure and simply lean toward one another in anticipation of what will be made whole by our surrender.
Not meant only for the collective body, this sense of balance is possible for a single body, yours and mine. Healing is not that all my parts begin to function properly but that the Spirit enters and melds together all my uneven bits, finishing the work that began in a mother’s womb, on the cross and in the garden. Shalom, “peace” in Hebrew, literally means whole. Thus, when healed, when complete, I am content. Whole and still.