Chapter 5: The Body Beautiful: Theology of the Body
Have you ever stopped to think about your body as an expression of who you are? as an expression of God? Loved the authors reflections in this chapter on Mother Teresa and the message conveyed to others through her body. How often we can sense the presence of God, or lack of God’s presence, in another without them ever expressing a word?
Hmmm… how does MY body express me? God?
(or maybe more accurately, how do I hope I share God with others through my body…).
- My smile. I often get comments on my smile and that I smile through the good and the bad times in life. Smiling in good times is easy – sharing the joy of the moment. For me to smile in the bad times is a reminder to me that I trust in God and that negative emotions or thoughts don’t get to have control over who I am. I choose to live my life with integrity; anger, bitterness and hatred are not part of who I believe God created me to be. I hope that my smile conveys my trust in the One who carries me through the darkness.
- My silence. I don’t always have a lot to say. As an introvert, I have a lot going on in my head and heart even if it’s not coming out of my mouth. My silence is my way of taking in what is happening around me – loving and appreciating what others are sharing with me. I pray that my silence isn’t a sign that I’m not interested – sometimes it’s the absolute opposite as I am so interested in the other that I’m not worried about my response – I just want to listen, to be blessed by what they share with me.
How do YOU express or share God through your body?
“Love can’t be given or received without the body” (p52). The last few months I have been living with my sister and her family. Coming home at night I am met with a two-year-old dropping what she’s doing and running to hug me. There is no greater feeling than to have that kind of love meet you every time you enter the house, or come up the stairs. Love is physically manifested through our actions, through our bodies, and it is good!
When is the last time you hugged or touched your loved ones?
As I read this chapter I thought about my running and frustrated I am because I’m currently side-lined until I find out more about the pain in my leg. My running started out to be focused on getting healthier and losing weight, but has morphed into something so much more. My running feeds my spirit as much as it works my body. It’s my time to pray, my time to hear the voice of God. So often when I am running outside I have had powerful God moments that sometimes bring me to tears. A deer, a rainbow, a starry sky… no words are needed other than “thank you for sharing that with me, God.” Then there are the days I see another person walking or running or driving past me – and I pray for them and what they will face during the day. For me using my body in this way brings me closer to God in ways I have never otherwise experienced. I pray that others see how I care for and love my body. I run because I can and because it brings me closer to God. I love to run, unlike many runners who will tell me they hate it (okay, I hate it inside on the treadmill – maybe that’s where the pain is coming from!).
Eating is something that I’ve changed – moderation in what I eat and eating less – but I still indulge and enjoy! Caring for your body requires loving yourself the way you are and keeping yourself healthy.