Incarnation Is God’s Love Language

Hello, darlings,

I feel like I am coming out of a fog of shock and rage, a fog of soul dismay.

Don’t get me wrong, I still feel a constant sense of foreboding. I still feel a steady sense of horror and disgust. Any thinking American who is paying attention hears this drumbeat, so I know I am not alone.

But I am finding my footing, recalibrating. And it is Advent, thank God, so I am also connected to the mystery of incarnation.

Which means that I am remembering that my own body is made of God’s love and that someone precious to God lives in it.

In these weeks following the election, my skin care regime went from wash, exfoliate, protect, moisturize, dab on eye cream to “quick wipe with a cleansing cloth.” My dental hygiene went from floss and brush and wear nightguard to “wait, did I brush my teeth this morning?” My diet was “What time is it and oh yea, there’s some danish over there at the meeting I will stuff some in my face because I’m not sure I’ve even eaten at all today.” My refrigerator was a collection of abandoned leftovers and take-out cartons. I hardly looked a green vegetable in the eye.

How about you?
A dear friend said she had “taken up smoking” again, and I admitted that I too had smoked my first cigarette in 15? – 19? years recently myself.
I’m not going to start smoking. But it’s shocking that I even had one cigarette.

Put the oxygen mask over your own face first.
You may feel like a wild-eyed prophet in the desert, but please do not look like one. Get to a barber.
Get your blazers and suits to the dry cleaner.
Buy some dry shampoo so you can touch up flat roots.
Bravely apply your lipstick so you do not reveal to the enemies of the poor that you are as defeated and bloodless as you sometimes feel.
This is going to be a great endeavor, and we must not allow our bodies to break down or appear to be breaking down in the struggle.

Put on your armor of beauty, polish, poise and decorum.
We are entering a long season of witness to God’s grandeur and the dignity of ALL people.
Let those of us who affirm the dignity of all people ourselves be dignified.

This struggle will be played out in front of cameras, my dear colleagues.
You take care of you so you can rise to the occasion. Shall we?

6 Replies to “Incarnation Is God’s Love Language”

  1. I haven’t taken up smoking but I have developed a deep and probably unhealthy relationship with cheese — any cheese, all the cheese, any time of the day or night — and a penchant for remaining indoors in comfy chairs.
    Ugh, the pallor.
    I can attest to the power of a good lipstick — I didn’t realize how worried for me my wonderful volunteer church secretary had become until I arrived at church coiffed and lip-sticked and saw the anxiety leave her face as she greeted me 🙂

  2. That is so interesting! There have been a few days when I got to church with greasy hair (my hair gets greasy minutes after washing it if I don’t keep my hands out of it, which I fail to do when I’m anxious) and minimal undereye bag and splotchy skin coverage. I know what that signals and I have made major efforts to not show up looking like I’m in the Cheese And Comfy Chair Despair program. Yep, sometimes that lipstick and nice earrings and skirt is very much to communicate, “We’re here and fully operational” even when my internal mantra is “We’re fucked, we’re fucked, oh dear God help us, we’re fucked.”

  3. I’m thinking the pulled-together, “I am a grown person in charge of her day” presentation may communicate as much to me about me as it does to other people — a la Amy Cuddy and her Ted Talk “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” which most of the world apparently watched when she gave it in 2012 but which i just caught up with last weekend.

  4. Love this. Yes yes yes. One way my congregation responded was to invite our congresswoman for a Town Hall discussion to speak on how she will uphold our progressive values in the age of Trump. That evening, I realized the only pair of pants I had – which I was wearing – were held together by safety pins. So – now I have proper pants, and a blazer for vigils. But I’m still feeling pretty wild-eyed. 🙂

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