I was contemplating the embodied life, again, while on the bus traveling to Mexico City last night. Our lives are embodied lives, there’s no other life we know but an embodied life, and the embodied life in this world is all we will ever really know.
Some people disparage the body, believing it a shell, or container of the mind, or soul, and some people revere the body, believing it all there is, no soul, or afterlife, to concern oneself with.
When Christ came into the world he became flesh, and lived the embodied life we all live in this world. He hungered, thirsted, grew tired, was tempted, and experienced life in the world as an embodied human being:
Treasure in Jars of Clay
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
Our bodies grow hungry, thirsty, tired, and, when we follow Christ, we will likely find our bodies in chains and imprisoned, too, as Jesus did, as Saint Paul did, and I have myself.
As Saint Paul says, above, “The things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” and this is very true.
Last July I had a vision, although it was more than that: it was a revelation or: an apocalypse, which isn’t “the end of the world” as is often thought but, an unveiling: Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning “un-covering.”
I was minding my own business that night, on the back porch, thinking my thoughts, having earlier in the day come to an end of myself, regarding the work I’ve been doing on the Summer of Justice movement for truth, justice, and peace, frustrated that nothing I had done seemed to be working, so far as getting the word out via a true grass roots effort, meaning: no money, and I suddenly felt compelled to fall on my knees and begin worshiping and praising God.
As soon as my knees hit the floor, and I began lifting my hands into the air, it was like a curtain was pulled back and I was surrounded by bronze colored beings, so many they filled my field of vision. I opened my mouth to praise and thank God and, like water, I felt the Spirit flow through my belly and out through my mouth came the most beautiful prayer of thanks and praise to God I’ve ever heard, and the beings surrounding me were praising God with me. A light shown from behind me as I prayed and then, as suddenly as it had begun, the curtain closed, and I was back on the back porch, saying to myself: “WOW!” while thanking and praising God.
I had the distinct impression, while experiencing this revelation, that the beings surrounding me were supporting me and giving me strength, which was the opposite of what I had been feeling earlier in the day: very alone.
This revelation, of things real yet normally unseen, has been a great encouragement to me, in many ways, and there’s no one who can ever tell me I didn’t experience a true revelation of heaven. I know what I saw, and what I felt, and what I heard, and it was more real than the world we experience in the body each and every day, which is very real indeed. It was much more real… just not normally visible.
Right now, my body is sore from carrying my pack, which weighs about 23 pounds, my feet are sore from walking a long ways yesterday and today, with more to go today, I’m hungry, and thirsty, and my entire body, as Saint Paul said, above, is growing old and wasting away. And yet, as Saint Paul also said, above, my inner self is being renewed day by day.
As I was riding the bus through the northern Mexico desert last night, at sunset, I was thinking how odd I felt, and have felt, lately. I feel very emotional… I cry, or tear-up, pretty often… just thinking about God, people, how brokenhearted he is over our condition, how he longs for us – but will not force us – to live and to walk and to act by faith, for the good of our neighbors, family, and friends, and for his glory, honor, and praise, but it seems we are too busy with too many things to do as God desires for us to do, which is only what’s best for us and for others.
But I find it very hard to describe how I’m feeling lately, other than to say I feel very close to God, and to people, and that it makes me sad. But not necessarily sad in a bad way, although I am, but sad, I think, in an overwhelmed way… brought to tears by the beauty and goodness of the world God has created, the goodness and beauty of the embodied, human, beings he’s created, who are so smart, so beautiful, who work so hard, and who return to the dust from which we’re all taken.
I think taking time to travel, and to think, has impressed upon me, again, all of these things, as has the passing of time, my life’s experiences, and my older age. I’ve never felt quite like I do right now, at this moment, and it’s hard for me to describe just how I feel, yet the psalmist expressed it very well, many thousands of years ago when he said: