In the search for eternal youth, we seem to have become ever more obsessed with body-image and shortcuts to body-stereotypes. High Street shops now advertising their wares: the simplicity of nips and tucks, sucks and plucks, lifts and scrapes – all called (that innocent sounding) “body-sculpting” and “body-aesthetics”.
The closest I come to that is cutting my nails and hair. And maybe the occasional sucking-in of my stomach on the beach (but that – of necessity – is very temporary).
I think it’s all at odds with the Easter Story.
A chap in his 30’s as best we know. Never body-sculpted that we know. Perfectly at ease with whatever body-shape he was. Slightly troubled by the future that awaited him. But stoic, determined and accepting. With only his Dad to refer to.
But Dad was made of the same stuff: stoic, determined and accepting. Dad who is timeless and eternal and without any body-image at all.
Both ends of the scale in years – Dad eternal and Son mid-thirties. Neither concerned with body-image or eternal youth. Youth not an issue for these two.
Just a lot of accepting. And forgiving and grace freely given – so long as … (always the small print – even in eternity)
Maybe Easter is a lesson in “acceptance” more than “saving”.
Or maybe acceptance and saving are one and the same.
Accepting who we are – who I am – is my saving. Being saved from thoughts of body-sculpting … body-stereotypes … body-image … body-shaming … body-esteem … body-ego … my body … my right … my choice … my life … my …
All this focus on “me” and what I am entitled to do and be … it’s very inward looking!
Costs us all in every “product” consumed. These chemical-cocktails extracted from the earth’s resources – tested on animals (or somebody or something!) – packaged in more chemicals (extracted from the earth’s resources)
wastefully sexily enough to justify the horrendous mark-up (the higher the price the better the product) – and all because this “product” promises eternal youth.
Accepting of who I am. Saved from chasing eternal youth (for all eternity)!
How about that for an Easter message (no “small print” required)!
All that is needed is for me to accept who I am and what I am and who I can be. The whole me. All of me. Who I am. Not just what I look like.
And isn’t “grace freely given” something we can do for ourselves rather than wait for “it” to be done to us? Isn’t “grace freely given” simply accepting who we are and who we can be?
And isn’t accepting who we are the first step towards love without condition?
Because if we find out how to love ourselves … isn’t it so much easier to love others … and so much easier not to be “offended” by the “beliefs” of others – whether they be of God or no-God … climate change or no-climate change … all these one-issue-arguments we love to beat each other to death with?
Isn’t Easter about being saved?
And isn’t being saved about acceptance – and then finding love – how to love ourselves – and then finding love everywhere in everyone?
And if “We don’t need God” to find that out …
Why do I see the complete opposite almost everywhere I look … ?
The search for eternal youth … the body-sculpting … the “What About Me” … the “I Have Rights Too” … the “It’s my Body and My Business – No One Else’s!” …
Doesn’t sound very
saved accepting to me.
And while we are on the subject of accepting –
Can’t we let all this
sinning gay folks … all sinning different colours of folks … sinful different wealth and not wealth … sinful wrong different religions and no religions … All this “What About Me?” noise (wrapped up in the illusion of sin v secular) …
(I say that only because the response from all sides is usually: “F**k You! You’re wrong!” – either with a polite I-love-you-really smile – or the full-on Anglo-Saxon-body-language-gutterals) …
Can’t we let all “that” go as well?