Parts of the Whole

Christine Kim writes about her experience of being welcomed, finding belonging, and being a part of community. 

Christine Kim
Photo provided by Christine Kim

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5

While the Study Center is a physical building where all are welcome, whether Christian or non-Christian, what makes the Study Center so special to me is the people there. I found the Study Center during my second year through some of my Christian friends who shared with me how comfortable and safe of a space it was for studying and hanging out with friends, and this became true for me. When I first stepped into the Study Center, I was welcomed by students and staff members—people who didn’t know me yet cared that I was there. From then on, I felt as though I belonged and could be a part of something much larger than myself. And I was right.

Before I knew it, I was there every day, doing homework in the back room or talking with friends, old and new, in the kitchen. I developed deeper and more meaningful friendships with students from other Christian fellowships on Grounds and with staff members, some of whom I probably wouldn’t have met had I not come to the Study Center so frequently. Not long after, I embraced opportunities to serve with some of these friends and staff members, whether it be with Exam Snacks, welcoming first years and their parents during Move-In Day Lunch, or being in videos to get people excited for upcoming Study Center events. Through it all, I realized that every single one of us had a different role in helping the Study Center function as a whole in laboring for the glory of God. This became a picture to me of how we each have a role in the body of Christ.

Every single person that was a part of the Study Center community had a significant role that was needed in making it one body, with Jesus at the heart of it. Some made the Study Center a quiet place to study, while others created a loud and fun atmosphere in the kitchen to ease the stress that comes with finals. Some always brought a new friend to the lectures, or dedicated their time to food preparations for all the different events. Some contributed financially and some contributed their time. Whatever it may be, everyone at the Study Center has a role and if even one person is missing, how can it be whole (1 Cor. 12)?

The students, the staff, the alumni, the professors, and everyone in between who love and are a part of the Study Center are the reason the Study Center is what it is. My time at the Study Center taught me that imitating Christ truly means embodying the heart of Christ at the center of everything that I do and knowing that we need each other. That the role that I carry out in the body of Christ is not about me but how the collection of us can form one body that enacts Christ’s heart for His people. This truth is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.