The Anatomy of Living
Life happens at intersections.
Fragments of the tangible material, gently held in the beauty of the communal, stitched into the mystery of the Ethereal.
This is the anatomy of living; the inner workings of who we are.
We are more than dust and bones.
We are the imago dei, the image of the Divine.
But often life makes dry bones of us; we live as divided humans, one foot in the secular, another in the sacred. We fight to resist the intersect, and our lives become an internal struggle. We exist but are not alive.
Yet, to these dry bones He cries,
For mere dry bones cannot bear the glory of God.
“The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”
– St Iraneus
Collectively Pursuing Wholeness
To be fully alive is to live in awe of the exquisite oneness that all of life is sacred. It is to thrive in the wonder of existence and tread knowing we walk on sacred grounds. It is to reject the notion that anything pertaining to “God” is more “spiritual” than romance, money, art, or any aspect of human life. We are made of material: “the matter from which a thing is or can be made, being of a physical or worldly nature.” Yet we are often stricken by guilt over our desire for the material, as if that desire defiles our godliness. With heads bowed in shame, we wrongly call for a division between all that is material and all that is godly. And in all this we disregard the truth that sacredness lies within the material. It is disguised within the everyday pedestrian life; it is in our houses, at our dinner tables, in our daily work, and in life’s adventures and travel pursuits.
Unashamedly Enjoying Beauty
To be fully alive is to live radically for the beauty in each other and in our own heart. It is embracing the sacredness of pulling off our masks to let our own stories swirl and unravel, allowing them to mingle with the stories of others – stories worth telling, stories worth pursuing. We are made for a communal life: “participated in, shared, or used in common by members of a group or community.” We are persons made for communion, made to struggle daily to show up and cultivate connection with each other. In our communion we are united by the brokenness that makes us one, so that in communion we say ‘yes’ to authenticity and vulnerability. There is sacredness in mindfully practicing hospitality of the heart, of inviting others into a safe, warm space where they can discover their true value and worth. Within the communal we celebrate one another, as lanterns that, only together, will brilliantly outshine the darkness.
Purposely Becoming Like Him
In the torn fragments of the communal and material, the thread that binds these pieces of clay together is the ethereal: “extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world; heavenly, spiritual.” We are a weak and fragile jar of clay, but still He chooses to set His treasure in this moldable vessel. We desire to respond to this call to live as His earthen vessel by seeking the treasure God has hidden for us in the day, to have eyes that see and ears that hear. We desire the eyes of faith that perceive the face of God in a stranger’s kindness, in the abused and the abuser. We desire the ears of faith that hear the voice of God in the sound of falling snow and the flutter of a bird’s wings.
Wrapped in our tale, we journey on into the inner universe of our heart. It is only there do we journey out of time and out of place, into eternity. Into the tale of its unfathomable depths, its caverns of dragons and lions, its secret locked doors, and its uneven rough paths to the entrance of our inner temple, the entrance to Love. Here is where Christ the King comes to take His rest, walking within, dwelling in and placing His Kingdom there. The inner kingdom present within is at the same time the Kingdom of the age to come. The place where we experience the love of God, which heals our every affliction, heals blind eyes to truly see the gates of heaven everywhere. To know His love is to know His face. To be fully alive is to live coram deo, before the face of God. In the communal and in the material, all faces are His.
We behold His face to become like Him.
This is the anatomy of living.