I know people say that a lot when people die. And when I've had grandparents die, I thought they looked slightly off - not like their normal selves. But this was different. My brother was a big guy, with lots of chub on his face. Yet somehow that wasn't what I saw on Wednesday. His forehead looked huge. His cheeks were slim. His eyes were sunken in. And his nose wasn't flat.
Growing up in my family we used to have contests to see who could hang a spoon on their nose the longest. I was usually a finalist. My pointed nose lends itself to spoon balancing quite well. But my brother could never even get the spoon to hang from his nose. His nose was too flat. No point on it at all. So where did that nose come from on Wednesday?
The body does funny things when life leaves it. I just didn't realize I wouldn't recognize my own brother.
Image courtesy of Sportydykare.se
SMom was really composed at the visitation. She kept saying that seeing Austen's body was just proof to her that his soul was gone and with the Lord. She compared it to a scuba diver. A scuba diver needs a ton of equipment to scuba dive. He needs his wet suit, which covers him head to toe, flippers, a mask, and a breathing tank. This all allows the scuba diver to breathe under water. Yet when the scuba diver comes up out of the water, he takes all the equipment off. And the person standing on the boat looks quite different from the scuba diver seen under the water. He's able to strip himself of the equipment because he no longer needs it to help him breathe. It's the same with our bodies.
We can't bring anything into this world, and we can't take anything out. My brother proved this to me. Though he's with the Lord, his body remains. I saw it.
So then why do we place so much emphasis on our bodies if they're so temporal? Why cover that gray hair or get that elective surgery? Why do women starve themselves trying to be thin? And why do I spend so much time getting ready in the morning?
I'm not sure I have a good answer for these questions. All I can think is that I'm missing the big picture. I'm missing part of what God intended when He created my body. I don't quite get it, but I'm wrestling with it.
I'll leave you with this:
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body," (1 Cor. 6:19-20).