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Aging Bodies, Aging Souls

The poet Louise Gluck wrote, “To get born, your body makes a pact with death / from that moment, all it tries to do is cheat”  The theology is off, but we do spend a lot of energy trying to cheat death. 

We have a really hard time when our bodies age on us.  It’s a bruise the beauty industry likes to press hard into.  Women are peddled anti-aging creams, spanx and hair dye,  Men aren’t spared- just swap the spanx for hair plugs and you have the same message.  Avoid aging. When you age you are obsolete.  Invisible.

Absurd.  Impertinent even.  But, okay.  What if we accept the premise?  What if for a second we believe we should stay as fit, as taut, as quarter-of-an-inch higher as we think is appropriate? And what if we could freeze our bodies as they were at 22- with the catch that we also had to freeze our mind and spirit at 22?  Would we do it?  

I, for one, would be horrified if I had stayed the same person I was at 22.  I was a mess.  A.  MESS. 

Our spirits age and mature- and thank God for it!  We grow in wisdom.  We are kinder in our opinions of people.  We love less selfishly.  We get over hang ups of independence and arrogance.  How grateful I am for this type of aging. What grace! My prayer is that I would grow in gratitude for my body aging.  Maybe it is a grace I’m too busy resisting to see it as such.  I want the wrinkles to be my tutor, the gray hairs my guide in grace.

2 Cor 4:16-18
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.

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