There are three little women in my house, all under the age of five. And as chaotic as that sounds (and is), there are predictable patterns that emerge. By 7:00 a.m. they will want breakfast on the table. As I am carrying breakfast to the table, they will ask me to get them milk too. They will eat half of their cereal and get distracted by the thought of putting on their tutus and start dancing around the living room. By now it is already 7:10 a.m. and at least one of them has found a reason to cry. They cry for the same reasons you or I might cry. Pain, fear, frustration….
Whatever made them broken in their very soft little souls, makes its way out of their physical bodies in the form of tears and cries and snot. I can assure you that each of them will cry at some point today. Their tears represent pain, fear, hurt feelings, anger, frustration, misunderstanding, and just about every other negative emotion imaginable.
While I may not always know the exact reason behind the tears, I know there is one way to make them stop crying. There’s a magic button that calms them every time. Each one of my little girls, regardless of the reason for their brokenness, can be fixed with a hug.
Really. That’s it. All they need is for someone to wrap their arms around them, and hold them close. The healing of their little souls comes through an embrace of their flesh.
We have these very real, material bodies.
And, we live in a very real, material world. A world made up of dirt and wind, sky and sea, seasons and cycles. All of it material. All of it God said was created good.
But somewhere along the way we began to see a dichotomy between the material world and it’s Creator. We came up with this idea that the creation and Creator are at odds with one another. We talk about this evil world that we need to break free of, instead of evil that needs to be expelled from the world. The world is not evil, but there is evil in the world. Saying that the world itself is evil, implies that somehow the Creator has created something that had the ability to go so terribly wrong, that the plan is destruction.
The material world, the physical world, was created by God, and created good. The story of God takes us from a luscious garden to Jesus being mistaken as a gardener in his resurrected body. When the women arrive at the tomb after Jesus’ death, they don’t encounter his spirit floating around. God proves that his material design is not intrinsically flawed. Jesus’ body is seen, transformed and yet bearing the marks of his mortal life. Jesus nourishes his immortal body with fish and bread. Jesus fills his resurrected body with food from this earth.
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1)