My Body, My Blessing

I have been thinking so much lately about the subject of the body. I’m not just talking about body image or the curve of the mirror...It goes deeper than that. I’m wondering what we communicate to ourselves and our Maker about such a gift. Maybe it’s because I’m 37 and raising two pre-teen daughters. Maybe it’s because I work with a population whose value is based what their bodies can do and look like. Whatever the reason, God is teaching me, and I am listening. I am ready to bless my flesh and bones and teach my children to do the same.

We talk about “the flesh” all the time in church-lingo world. We are quick to belittle it, shove it aside, and call it evil. And so we should! The carnal sin-nature is evil indeed. However, the words we have chosen to describe this sin nature are dangerously close to the skin, blood, eyes, hair, muscles, tongue and voice that bear the very evidence of the Divine.

The western church has confused the carnal flesh with the Divine flesh. This mix-up has led to such brutal treatment of the image of God.  We slay and slash it. We neglect and mistreat it. We gorge and purge it. We overexert it and deprive it of rest. We objectify and exploit it. We call it “bad”  on one extreme, fearing its beauty. We indulge it in sensuality and vanity on the other and can’t restrain it from destruction. We criticize by what must sound like strange gibberish to God: “Ugh, so ugly.”  We minimize its beauty, cringing at and refuting compliments. We compare it, grieving The Architect's heart when we whisper, “I just wish….”

What if we acknowledge the glory in our flesh? What if we owned the fact that we - within our very skin and bones- hold the splendor of God? Through Christ, it is redeemed and free to reflect the glory of the Divine, unveiled! (2 Corinthians 3:16-18) The time has come to bless our body, to commission it with all its muscle to praise the name of the life-breather.

What follows here is a poem of sorts. For me, it has become a sort of chant for moments when darkness encroaches the mirror.I realize that it eems silly, talking to yourself in the mirror. I had to laugh aloud when I was done reciting [recalling Jack Handy’s Deep Thoughts on SNL!]. But you know what? We have to do this. We have to be able to look at the Divine in ourselves if we desire to extend it to others. If Jesus loves us, we need to learn to love us...in the way that He does: unselfishly, freely, knowing that because He loves us, we are liberated to serve radically.


My Body, My Blessing

My body, my blessing.

Every ounce made just right.

The wave of certain hairs, the ones laying straight;

My hands, hips, eyes, brain.

My lips, my voice;

My arms stretched wide or hanging low,

Each inch perfectly knit.

 

My body, my blessing.

Blessings all different, not one the same.

Listen to darkness:

“Mistake. Too much. Too little. Never enough.”

God silences, singing: “Masterpiece.”

 

My body, God’s blessing.

Evolving, taking its time, not everything at once.

Each year, a new response to life:

a wrinkle, a creak, and crack. Ouila!

“You’re alive!” my blessing exclaims,

“Onward to eternity!”

The intricate, the microscopic -

DNA, Divine Nature Attributes;

the invisible stamp of God, revealed in me.

Given a birthdate.

Blood rushing through veins, cells multiplying,

Equipped to uniquely navigate light and shadows.

Moving, bending, sensing.

 

Powerful, the blessing self-heals.

Open, it reaches to heal others.

My body, my blessing.

 

Compare? Call the blessing imperfect and flawed, ugly or incompetent?

Cut? Nip? Gorge? Neglect?

Send it back?

Fist pointed at The Maker: “Poorly executed!”

Rethink the Sistine Chapel?

Yet God, to whom even greatest artists dare not be compared,

painted me.

My body, my blessing.

 

“Here, some nourishment,” - I feed.

“There, there, rest”  - I care.

“Dance! Move!”  - I strengthen.

 

Alive with God embodied,

No building or cosmos can hold my interior.

Framed out, the Architect designed the residence.

Window-eyes, mirror light pouring,

Swords of honey flowing from the tongue,

prophetically slaying darkness by raising new life.

 

Bless my body, enjoy God.

Harm my body, curse God.

I stretch wide my arms, the sun salute.

Opening spirit, soul, body to Love.

 

I am a miracle upon miracle upon miracle.

Today proclaiming:

My body, my blessing!