Broken Bodies

There’s this story in scripture where a woman had a bleeding problem for twelve years. Non-stop bleeding, every day of her life. What we don’t get is her backstory. The Levitical law prohibited her from ever associating with other people. She was considered unclean. A disease she couldn’t control, she didn’t cause, she didn’t deserve, and yet her greatest punishment- she was left alone to deal with it by herself. So twelve years this lady had no friends, no family, no community. She never went to church, never went to the store, never got out in public, never went to a family reunion. She was secluded from relationship and banished to solitude.

Which makes it surprising that this miracle even happens. Jesus’s words, “Who touched me?” carry with it not just a question but an indictment. Who? Every human desires to be known- fully known. And she was an unknown nobody. Of course he said, “Who?” No one knew who she was. For twelve years. Her healing carried more than a physical cure- it initiated community restoration. Most can deal with any problem, any sickness, any loss, as long as they can work through their grief in community. This unnamed lady lived in solitary confinement. Until Jesus healed her. I can only suppose that the greatest healing wasn’t her body, but the restoration of her relationships.

I usually get stuck on the stage when we have communion at our church. We need background music for most experiences in the church and I orchestrate the mood- the Mood Maestro. Wedding music, baby dedication music, water baptism music, altar music- there’s a song to go along with each component. So I stand on the stage and sing with my musician and vocalist friends.

The beauty of communion is that we share it together. The bread and wine represent Jesus’s body and blood. That he’s there too. So when we take it, we remind ourselves that as we do this together, we’re only here, together, because Jesus is there too. It’s regularly a solemn moment- introspective and sacred. It’s a beautiful ceremony that embodies and symbolizes the brilliance of Jesus’s sacrifice. We share his broken body and together are made whole.

Tiffanni isn’t able to sit up during church anymore because she moves so erratically. So my mom bought her a pillow and she sprawls out in the pew. We have a routine on Sunday mornings- she comes in and drinks her smoothie out of her indestructible Starbucks cup and then lays down for the remainder of the service. When I lead worship, I can see her face. Her body fidgets, her arms flail, and she rubs a carpet burn into her knees from the burlapped pew upholstery. I’m requesting a silk pew. But then again, we’d just slip-n-slide right on to the floor.

The other night we shared communion. We sang a song about the blood of Christ. The other pastors distributed what we call “the elements”. Jay asked if everyone had been served. Mark came and prayed over the time and just before we were about to eat the bread, I looked and saw her knee. It was just above the top of the pew. Jerking, scabbed, frail- her knee. With everyone in the room prepared to put a piece of wafer in their mouths, she laid there, outside of the community. Her broken body forbidding her to share in the broken body of Christ. Possibly, the person who needed to feel a part of the community more than any of us. Ostracized and isolated she laid there alone.

So I did what any of you would have done. I walked off of the stage and helped her rejoin the community. Her community. People who have pledged their love to her and our family. To see this through with us whatever the future holds. And we took the bread, and we took the juice, and I helped her broken body ingest the broken body of Christ along with the rest of us broken parts of the body. Her family. Her community.

 

23 Comments for “Broken Bodies”

says:

How my heart hurts for her. But she is not alone, the church loves her, they would do more, just do not know what to do. Even lady there grieves for her, and prays for her healing, Thank you for being a faithful husband that tries to maintain a level of normalcy and balance. I pray that God sustains you to be what she needs, when she needs it. My prayers are with you and your beautiful family.

Donna Butcher

says:

Jeremy, you’re dedication to both God and your wife is such a testimony of what every man needs to do. Thank you for sharing this very intimate journey and thank you more than anything for your wonderful heart for trust in and obedience to God.

Gerald McAnally

says:

Jeremy I don’t understand why Tiffany has to bear this burden, but I do know that your Love for her is demonstrated every time you pen this blog. Please know that I am praying daily for your strength and for your beautiful wife’s complete healing. We love y’all!

Elizabeth Copen

says:

Jermery Sims you do not know me, But I am a friend of Susanne’s I belive God put her in my life for a reason. I have prayed for your precious Tiffaney many times in the past 2 years . Many pray walks parying for Tiffaney as I listen to your Cd , by the way I have worn out playing.
You are and amazing man of God, Husband and Father. I have read the Book that Susanne wrote about Her Testamoney and The Cd I must have listen to that at lest 100 times . Your Family brings a whole new meaning to true christain perseverince !!
Teaching me as well along the way that we can make being broken , my son passed away this past Jan of a herion overdose , he was only 36. Yes everything has a crack in it , that how the light gets in ….. We that are Broken need someone to help us alone the way get to Jesus !!! Thank you so much for bearing your fers and hutrs and inner most thoughts . This Time It broke me !!!!

Jeremy Sims

says:

Hi Elizabeth, I’m so so sorry about your son. You are in my thoughts today.

Elizabeth

says:

Oh My Lanta I wanted to edit before hitting the send button!!!
Thank You Jeremy Sims and Many Prayers . Looking forward to the blog. Just ask your Precious Mother in Law Susanne about the
Craxy Writer Elizabeth !!!

Beverly Saavedra

says:

Always looking forward to Wednesdays so I can read your blog.
You guys are so dear to me and I love and pray every time you guys cross my mind, right on the spot! This is not just written words but a reality, love you guys and your precious children!

Terry Curtis

says:

I hate to think of Tiff alone in this for one second. But then these times happen. I would do anything to help her. I’ve known her since she was 9 and running around Kingwood Church….the biggest personality… I’m so thankful God brought you to her! Love you, Jeremy!!!

Kathey Campbell

says:

Jeremy,
I think of all of you often, prayers for all of you! I know God will give you strength and peace that only He gives!

Becky George

says:

I had the privilege of sitting right behind you both in this service. I watched you help her sit up and serve her the elements and wrap your arm around Tiff. My kids watch how you treat her . My little said today Jerm is nice mom. He takes care of Tiff. I see how nice he is to her and to me. My middle child said not long ago when she grows up she wants to marry a man that’s like you and Pastor Jay. I was curious and asked why. She said “because they take care of their wives Mom, the church as a whole could learn from them.”
You continue to impact more than you realize and so does Tiff😁
Great job as usual on your post. Thank you for allowing us a deeper glimpse of your story and your perspective.

Elton Brooke

says:

The amazing grace of Christ demonstrated in community. Sounds like a wonderful example. Remembering you and Tiffany in prayer.

Amy Ford

says:

You are truly gifted with the power of words. Thank you for sharing such intimate moments in your life. Love you and Tiff!! ❤️

says:

Communion is not about individuals. It’s about the people of God. It is what Paul said “discerning the body of Christ” is all about. I won’t forget the story or the evening at Kingwood.

Yolanda

says:

Many years ago I witnessed the painful deterioration of a once, healthy 5 year old. Now
I think of your family often. I know that the best is not always what’s easy.
Coming together… placing individual needs aside…devoting time and energy for others… sharing sorrows and triumphs… drawing strength from each other gifts…
A wonderful family comes together, a wonderful community of believers surrounds Tiffany, the kids and you. The best isn’t always what’s easy.

Wanda Pylant

says:

Jeremy I’m sure you don’t remember me but I remember you and your brothers and Katie as kids. My heart breaks for your family. I don’t understand why — it just seems so cruel for this to happen to Tiffany after watching her mother go through this horrible disease. I pray for Gods strength for all. I wish that I had words that would make y’all feel better but I don’t. You are truly what the bible says a Godly husband should be. I have mixed emotions every Wednesday. I look for your blog but I also dread to hear how much worse things have gotten. This week was such a beautiful and personal love story all o could do was cry.

Phyllis

says:

May God lovingly and gently minister to you and your heart in the same touching way that you continually show His love and care to Tiffanni making sure she does not feel alone.

Ben Heilman

says:

I had seen your blog reposted from sll of our Southeastern friends but I finally read them all in one sitting last weekend. Thank you for putting pen to paper and allowing those of us who live far away (in my case – the other side of the world) to live and learn and love through your writing. Thank you my friend.

Cindy Herschberg

says:

Amazing blog , The Lord has been revealing to me the same thing about the woman with the issue of blood. As I was sitting in Shabbot services and the Torah portion was being read I realized for the first time how Amazing the healing was for the woman with the issue of blood much more then we realize by todays standards. Just the faith she had to reach out and touch Jesus , first off she was not allowed to touch anyone in her condition and second she knew if she could just touch the hem of his garment she would be healed ! The desperation not only for the physical healing but to be free from the isolation she felt . I think we forget about that sometimes when others have a long term illness or hurdle in their lives that the isolation can be as hurtful and painful as the physical condition sometimes equal or greater. I am touched by you and tiffanys lives they are such a testimony of Gods Love and the Love we are to have for our spouses and one another. You both are a blessing. Praying for your family . God Bless

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: