Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
What do you have that you couldn’t bear to lose? Asked another way, if your home caught on fire, what would be the one thing you would take with you? To what lengths would you go to be sure it got out safely? Oh, how we protect what is precious.
I once went to the National Archives building in Washington, DC where our nation houses its most treasured documents. The original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights are on exhibit. They are carefully kept under glare-resistant, shatterproof glass so people can file by to view them but not touch them. These documents are so carefully guarded because they are originals.
You are an original. Nothing exists anywhere else in the world quite like your person or your life. God hasn’t placed you behind shatterproof glass, rather God has formed you in flesh because you’re not just for display; we are alive. Living will expose you to the wear and tear and the risk of potential harm or injury. Still, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, breakable, bendable, flesh though it is. You were bought with a price. You are precious to God.
- Lay your palms flat against one another and assume the posture of prayer. Rub your palms together or fold them to interlocking, flesh against flesh. Bow your head in thanks to God for the sensation of touch.
- With your eyes closed, extend your prayer. Wrap your arms around yourself in a hug, thanking God for your body. Then releasing the hug, draw your hands along your body, touching shoulders, then arms, then hands. Move to head, face, neck, chest, torso, abdomen, hips, thighs, legs, feet. Are there sensitive places? Injured? Healing? Treat them with special care.
- During the day, notice how you tend to and care for the outside (the protective covering) of your body: brushing, washing, trimming, drying, powdering, beautifying, anointing with fragrance, moisturizing, protecting with sunblock, wrapping against cold, or sheltering from wet.
Reflect and Respond:
- Skin is a guardian of our body—a sentry of sorts—meant to protect the temple of our body. When skin is healthy, not much gets through it. How much time do you spend caring for your outsides (skin, hair, nails, etc.)? Is that care intended for health, appearance, or both? Is the time you spend tending to your outer self, too little, too much, or about right?
- Skin is also sensitive and specially designed to signal a range of sensations from sweet caress to potential danger. Where is your skin especially sensitive? Less sensitive? Why do you think that is?
- Scripture says that “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you” (1 Cor. 6:19), not built of stone and mortar, but created of flesh and blood. If the Spirit resides in you, what can you do to honor the gift of life in your body?
Holy Spirit, come. You give life to my inner being. Teach me how to let that show from the inside out. Let my very flesh be a reminder that I am covered in your love. Let me give off such effervescence that all who see me know I am alive in you. Amen.