Embodiment and the Divine

By October 30, 2017 faith No Comments

All month I’ve been thinking about the ways our senses are meant to help us know God. And when our senses are off kilter, we’re missing out on connections with the Divine.

God speaks—He is the Word, after all—so if I cannot hear Him, my spiritual ears must be a bit clogged. God is always moving and active, so if I cannot see His work, my spiritual eyes must be a bit blurry. God is Immanuel, God with us, so if I cannot sense His presence, my spiritual sense of touch must be a bit numb. God is our portion—He is the Bread of Life!—so if I cannot pick up His scent or taste and see that He is good, then my olfactory senses are plugged up and my taste buds are desensitized.

Seeing the way our physical and spiritual senses parallel has been one of the most interesting aspects of this series. God created us in His image, so our physical bodies are a reflection of who He is. I’ve spent way more time considering my spiritual state and how its health or lack thereof would affect how well I could relate to God in any given season. When my spiritual senses were fully functioning, God’s nearness was evident. But when my spiritual faculties were hindered in some way? I felt like a spiritual zombie, unable to function properly.

I’ve spent very little time considering how my actual physical senses might help me relate better to God or experience Him more deeply. For example, does my skin only pick up on physical nearness? Or is it possible that my skin’s receptors are, indeed, picking up on the unseen realm that’s all around? And when I enjoy my favorite coffee or delicious food or decadent treat, is there something in that tasting that can teach me to know the God who calls Himself the Bread of Life?

Questions like these have set my curiosity ablaze. It doesn’t help that the body is often downplayed in our experience as eternal spiritual creatures, made in God’s image. But we were made with physical bodies and declared very good by the One who made us. Our embodiment was not without purpose. God intended for us to know Him contained in these vessels. And I want to know more.

Have you discovered something about God through your physical senses? Have your senses helped you to know more about Him? I’d love to hear about it.


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