James KA Smith Tag Archive

I’ve recently been receiving physical therapy to treat ongoing knee pain I’ve had the last few years. During my first evaluation, my physical therapist simply observed me while I walked back and forth in his studio. He quickly pointed out that I’ve been overcompensating to my left leg for so long that my right leg and hip are basically unengaged while I walk. The first thing we had to work on was learning to get my right leg engaged again.

We progressed to a point after several weeks where my physical therapist was able to observe me while I ran. It turns out that my stride is all messed up. The problems with the stride in my legs had little to do with the legs themselves, but much to do with how I used my arms while I was running. His exact words were that while I have full movement with my right arm, “You’re doing a T-Rex thing with your left arm.” This was causing a lot of uneven rotation in my legs while I ran, which put a lot of pressure on my knee.

You see, while I thought problems in my knee meant that I only needed to focus on fixing my knee, it turns out that my whole body is more connected than I first thought. Pain and dysfunction in this one part of my body reflects how poorly the rest of my body is functioning.

The body metaphor is a common one that is used to describe the Church in the New Testament. We are one body with many members, and each part is essential to the whole (1 Corinthians 12:12-26, Ephesians 4:11-16, etc.). These verses contain great wisdom in how we can find our place within this body, and how this body is meant to grow together. Continue Reading