I am not the body

I am not the body. What animates, makes talk, makes move, moves the breath in and out is a Mystery. A great teacher told me,

“We cannot understand life and death intellectually. As we live, we can choose to see God in All.”

Look around you, the person beside you, in front, behind—relative, stranger, friend, and observe the Mystery that we can never fully comprehend. The Mystery of being in that person is one expression of God’s infinite and Glorious Diversity. How laughable that we keep choosing to like and dislike. It’s like preferring your hand over your foot, over your nose while being a part of the same Body.

Many know this scripture well, “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. ” As children of God, we are challenged to lift the Word off the page of our daily word and bring it inside; to let God come alive on our tongue, express Him in our word, our attitude, our actions, and in how we choose to relate with each other as embodied expressions of Divinity:

by building bridges of Peace,

between my belief and yours,

by laughing at the absurdity that I am right and you are wrong,

by giving up trying to fit a limitless God into my way only, my point of view,

as if Truth can be that small.

Unbounded, all-embracing Truth contains all flavors, shades, colors, forms.

I’ve heard it said, “If Jesus was to return to us today, we’d crucify him again.” Blaming is our big escape from taking responsibility. Turned inward, guilt implodes. The greatest war is inside ourselves, to accept the dark and light within, and allow the Mystery that goes beyond opposites to move us; to cease the habit we have of accusing, blaming, comparing, diminishing, humiliating ourselves or go the other extreme, of being puffed up with pride and ego-bolstering. Similarly, we point a finger at others to hide our wounds inside. When we minister to our own wounds, we may stop beating up on others. Our challenge is to let the Word from the Holy book rise from the page to our lips, in our speech, our attitude, and let God live in our:


Forgiving, beginning with ourselves,

embracing forgotten sons and daughters,

extending compassion to our mothers and fathers who will fall short because they too are human,

and be the change that we’d like to see in them,

in nurturing our children, allowing them the dignity to choose their own path, and blessing them in fulfilling a destiny that we cannot comprehend,

in taking responsibility for our own healing. As Joan Rivers would say, “Grow up!”

I am. You are. Stuff happens. Life is.

Yesterday my baby brother woke up at dawn and vanished from his body before the sun went down. Why? How? Where? Don’t ask. Our cries will not return him. Our family mourns. One minute he was present, then suddenly he was gone, to once upon a time. His part of our world falls silent. We, here, are fumbling with verb tenses: was— not is; did— not does. His joking are now jokes, his story-telling is history. We cling to our photos and memories to be with him. With these awkward words and yearning, we are grasping for his special smile, for his peculiar genius to open trick boxes that the rest of us cannot.

The Divine spark that enlivens us is Eternal; the body is not for keeps. From the elements it arises and to the elements it returns. As part of existence— call it temple, instrument, playground of God, what’s mortal comes and goes. The immortal is unborn and never dies.

Letting go of our brother means surrendering to the great war with ourselves: letting go of what we feel our brother has done to us, to himself, and what we might have done to him. By staying attached to pain, grief, anger, and such, we choose to be one-sided, forgetting that God is All:

He is the Night so we can perceive the Light,

the Sorrow so we can know Joy.

Choosing one over the other binds us in conflict.

We become blocked by apparent contradictions and miss the Total,

that the Whole is complete in the meeting of opposites,

in the harmony of the parts,

Together, we are the jeweled spectrum of God’s Diverse, Indivisible Perfection.

I am not the body. Our brother wore a body, but was never the body. However much we talk about or try to define him, the Mystery that distinguished him will forever elude us. Who can describe the Eternal Divine spark that enlivens us? If we once took for granted the Mystery that dwelt amongst us as our brother—Forgive us, Lord. How easy it is to forget that You are the Gift of life. Each breath is a privilege. Our body is Your home to be honored.

Your sudden death, dear brother, teaches that all we have is Now—This, What’s here before us, One Mystery appearing as many. Thank you God for our moment in time with our brother, to laugh with, play, dance, love, and to have learned from You through him.

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