I took off my gloves the other day and laid them on the kitchen cabinet. I had been outside watching the sun rise, as is my habit, even though the temperature was in the teens. I have had these gloves a long time, several years.
When I went back to put them on again, I saw them lying there, limp and useless. They still held the form of my hands, the fingers slightly curved. The thumb in place to grasp something, but they were empty, wrinkled and worn with use.
My gloves reminded me of my body. The day will come when I will put off this body that has served me for seven decades. Like my gloves, my body was once young and new, without wrinkle, elastic, unscarred. But over the years it has grown old. My body groans when it moves, becomes stiff when I sit in one position too long. It aches. Putting on my socks has become an exercise in calisthenics.
When I die I will put off this body like I pull off my gloves when I come in from the cold. It will still hold something of my shape. But it will no longer be me, any more than my gloves are me. When my hand occupies my glove it can move and grasp things. The glove is filled with my life. Likewise my body is filled with me while I still live. But, someday, I will lay it down.
According to Scripture, I will eventually put on a new body, just as I can place my hands in a new pair of gloves. The Bible has a lot to say about this, especially in 1 Corinthians 15: “It is sown [a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
When my mother was dying we talked about heaven. She was 89 years old. Her body had withered away. Her back was bowed with osteoporosis. Her vision was failing. She had suffered a series of mini-strokes. She had difficulty walking. When she was a young girl she was athletic, a beautiful fast runner. She won ribbons in track. We talked about how she would run again, the wind in her hair, flying through the meadow as she did when she was growing up on the farm.
There’s a lot I don’t know about heaven. What kind of bodies will we have when we get there? Will our heavenly bodies resemble our earthly bodies? Will we have different ethnicities, different skin color and racial features? Will we all look the same? Maybe we will know other in a different way, more spiritual and intuitive than visual. From what I know of God in this world, I would have to assume there will be variety ... lots of variety ... even more than we see on earth. But all prejudice and pride will vanish.
1 John 1:3-2 states, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
-- Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. Visit www.tinsleycenter.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.