CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith & Life for the Years of Winter --
It’s not easy to lose weight in winter, either the winter of the calendar year or the winter that is our declining years.
Summer is the time for losing weight. Even if you aren’t, it feels like you are, because your clothes weigh so much less. But we’re more active in summer, and have fresh produce to eat instead of stew and hash, so we’re losing weight.
Helen says the good thing about losing weight is that you don’t have to pay attention to your body all the time, whether you can’t wear these pants because they’re too tight, whether you’d better take another antacid pill before bed, whether you have to go to Wal-Mart instead of Kroger’s so you’ll blend in better. In winter, you’re so busy with your fat that you don’t have time for much else.
She says that must be what death is like, losing all that weight so you don’t have to pay attention to your body, so you’ll have time to pay attention to relationships.
The Apostle Paul said he was sure we’d have a body in heaven, but he wasn’t sure if it would be physical or spiritual. By “body” he meant an individual identity. On earth, that’s the only way we can tell one another apart, and thus have an individual identity, by body. Individual identity is the only way we can have relationships. On earth we have to have physical bodies in order to have relationships; not so in heaven.
Helen’s faith is that whatever body we have in heaven, it will let us spend all our time on relationships, without worrying about whether we can fit into our wings.
John Robert McFarland
“Two steeples, no waiting.” Helen’s translation of the French sign on the cathedral in Montreal.