International Ministries


May 15, 2015 Journal
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Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world...Teresa of Avila

Life has been rich and full for me recently. After a beautiful time of collaboration on a Healing Arts Toolkit workshop for AMOS’s rural and urban health promoters in Nicaragua in April, I spoke a number of times at an American Baptist Women’s conference in Richland, WA. Four days later, I traveled to England for a quick visit with Micah on my way to Kiev, Ukraine for a ten-day training of social action trainers in conflict transformation, experiential education, non-violence, trauma healing and sustainable spiritual practices. Led by two peacemaking heroes, Dan Buttry, IM colleague and Lance Muteyo from Zimbabwe, this international gathering of leaders from 12 different countries on five continents taking place in a country currently experiencing violent conflict was life transforming for me. I am finishing this reflection on the plane heading home to Washington State.

I have been thinking quite a bit about incarnation and embodiment lately. Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. The following Scriptures frame these thoughts:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

 He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a human, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!  Philippians 2:7-8

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

When I ponder the concept of God taking on flesh, coming to us as a vulnerable baby in Jesus, fleeing with his family to escape a death sentence, growing up as a refugee, learning from and participating in his context, culture and community of faith, gathering up, living with and leading a ragtag band of disciples, experiencing deep joy and profound sorrow in relationships, to suffer a shameful and cruel death at the hands of those he came to love; the ones who were created in his own image, now living in us as the resurrected Christ, I can’t help, but to be moved.

The following is a collection of words, some might call poetic, that has been forming in me since I shared a part of it during the closing communion service at the women’s conference and the rest as I’ve continued to reflect on the stories and images of struggle and strength shared during these last ten days in Kiev.

Christ embodied our bodies,

Our beautiful and dutiful bodies,

Our “ugly” and unruly bodies,

Our flat-chested, too fat or too thin bodies

Our frightened and fragile bodies 

Christ embodied our bodies

            Our abused and used bodies

            Our bruised, beaten, and burdened bodies

Our bulleted, butchered, bloodied and buried bodies

 Christ embodied our bodies

            Our overlooked and outcast bodies

Our oogled bodies

            And our objectified bodies

 Christ embodied our rejected, raped and worn-out bodies

            Our diseased and death denying bodies

 our downright discounted bodies

 Christ embodied our bodies

            Our stressed and starved bodies

Our sold and sacrificed bodies

            Our shamed, scarred, scared and sacred bodies

Christ embodies and redeems our bodies

            Our hidden and our held bodies

Sees, values, touches and heals our bodies

            God’s grace is revealed in and through our bodies

Blessing our beautiful brown, black and beige bodies

            Inhabiting our connected bodies

Our compassionate, passionate, empathetic, and engaged bodies

            Our prayerful, playful, purposeful and proud bodies

Christ embodies our bodies

             our blessed, broken and shared bodies

Christ’s body is our bodies embodying His story





Still pondering,


May 2015