I’m finding myself doing things these days that I remember my mom doing a long time ago. Like peering closely at my face in the mirror…. and pulling the sides of my cheeks up to envision what my face looked like without wrinkles. Yikes. Am I becoming my mother?
The human body is such a beautifully designed piece of art and wonderful craftsmanship. Mine is a bit more on the abstract side, but that’s OK with me. I’m pretty content in my own skin and happy with what God has given me. Don’t get me wrong – if I had my druthers I’d prefer to redistribute here and there, with maybe a little less hubbla hubbla. And can I just say I don’t remember these love handles – didn’t that skin use to be up under my arm pits? Dang that Isaac Newton and his gravity theory – I see the effects of aging weighing this body down more and more each day.
Even the most fit athlete has to eventually accept that their body is broken and weakening. Geez Kris…I thought this blog was meant to be uplifting! My point is that in the House of Grace, I’m learning not to be anxious about the weakness of my body as I age, but I’m learning to accept it as a preview and prelude to the most amazing transformation of all time. When I get out of bed and feel like the Tin Man – creaky and rusty – I’m reminded that we’re loaned these bods for just a season, and if you believe what’s been promised then our new and improved versions are awaiting us in another time and another place.
We humans so often feel like we can’t measure up to a physical standard we created, so we are convinced that it’s how God looks at us too. But it’s not. And then we live our lives through a lens of shame and guilt, and the comparing and faking that it produces carries over into almost every area of our lives. Our marriages, our churches, our friendships, our families.
In my latest book crush, The Cure, the authors talk about the beautiful transformation of a butterfly. Isn’t it amazing that a caterpillar has the exact same DNA before it goes into it’s cocoon as it does after it’s transformed into a beautiful butterfly? That means it’s essentially the same being on the inside before and after it’s transformation, even though it looks completely different. If you apply the same concept to humans, that means that although I may be a little beaten up on the outside, I still feel like the person I was in my 20’s. The cool part of the equation is that we were created to be transformed people in another time and place. Whether we allow that inner transformation to start here on earth, or have to wait until eternity…some of that might be up to you.
God tells us that there are mansions that await us in Heaven, and I use to think it meant really hoity-toity houses. Nowadays I think it means wonderful and improved bodies – butterfly bodies….void of the effects of sickness and aging. Now I’d love a beautiful log cabin by the waters of Lake Tahoe as my mansion…but I’m thinking I would be pretty pleased with a new and improved version of me, both inside and out. Dang, with my luck, I’ll be skinny once I get there and chubby will be the new rage.
If I get to choose what features I’d like in my new home, here’s just a few things I’d like to order:
- a beautiful singing voice (even though I think God hears my voice that way now)
- I’d like to sing back-up for Patti LaBelle
- I’d like to play drums…or maybe banjo
- long skinny fingers
- less athletic calves and knees
I have a theory – Matthew 20:16 says “….the last will be first, and the first last”….and I’m taking this completely out of context, but I jokingly like to extend that and say that in heaven the skinny will be fat, and the fat will be skinny. And the people who can’t carry a tune will be the rock stars in heaven. And those who can’t ……well, just fill in the blank and you’ll have transformations going on all over the place. But for now – for today, I’m content that I can throw a softball like a dude, and I can love people like crazy, and that I’m blond, and that I can organize the biggest and best event you can throw at me, and that I can make a difference in the lives of my family and friends .
Today is my birthday and I’m actually glad to be at this place and space in time that I’m at today on the aging timeline. Although there’s more time behind me than there is ahead of me, I can look back with wisdom (and sometimes mortification) and be so grateful for how I’ve grown and changed – and hopefully matured – not only in my faith but in grace. As I age, my body may be deteriorating but inside I’m growing stronger in “aliveness” and grace.
So how do you see yourself as you age? One step away from a slipped disk? Defeated and holding on to everything you have? Or do you see yourself as a caterpillar, being transformed into a beautiful butterfly? That’s the mystery of grace.