The One Body

In my adventures as a psychotherapist, my gig before my leap into full time ministry, I had the profound experience of meeting all sorts of people. I witnessed the spectrum of the human experience, from joy to intense pain, from trauma to triumph, and all the spaces in between. My work took me to the bedside of the dying and opened the door for me to sit with the grief of others, crying and sometimes laughing with them as they shared stories of those they had lost. I had the honor of caring for those affected by diseases that robbed them of their memories, past lives they could no longer recount, loved ones they no longer recognized. As I have reflected on this, which is often easier when one is not in the thick of it, it occurred to me that there was one common thread that tangled itself through all of these experiences. No matter the individual, no matter the circumstance, no matter the life limiting disease process, the divine shone through. In its own way, with each unique individual, I could point to one thing and say “Yes, there it is!” No matter the body, no matter the brain, no matter the circumstance, the divine found a way to bump up against all of it and spill over with such raw beauty that even the thought of it now takes my breath away. It is this awareness that gives texture to the reality that our bodies are the expression of the very body of the divine. It can be no other way. Our connection to it is beyond the words that we could use to express it. It is beyond dogmas, theologies, doctrines or frameworks. Our bodies, yes this flesh and blood body, is the very activity of the divine. Each body, not some ideal or “should be” body, is the divine making itself known. Noticed I didn’t say is divine, but instead is THE divine. For me this changes everything, how I see myself, others, and our work collectively in the world. This body, my here and now body exactly as it is, is the perfect container for the divine. Just breath that in…


Rev. Ryan

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