Tuesday, February 28, 2017

“Just” a body? (Thomas Lynch)


Thomas Lynch, poet/undertaker, will be one of my literary companions this Lenten season.

Perhaps a proper Lenten beginning entails burying (pun intended) the idea that we should ever piously place the adverb “just”  prior to the noun “body” when we talk about the life and death of a human being.
"So to suggest in the early going of grief that the dead body is “just” anything rings as tinny in its attempt to minimalize as it would if we were to say it was “just” a bad hair day when the girl went bald from her chemotherapy.  Or that our hope for heaven on her behalf was based on the belief that Christ raised “just” a body from dead.  What if, rather than crucifixion, he’d opted for suffering low self-esteem for the remission of sins?  What if, rather than “just a shell,” he’d raised his personality, say, or The Idea of Himself?  Do you think they’d have changed the calendar for that?  Done the Crusades?  Burned witches?  Easter was a body and blood thing, no symbols, no euphemisms, no half measures.  If he’d raised anything less, of course, as Paul points out, the deacon and several others of us would be out of business or back to Saturday Sabbaths, a sensible diet, and no more Christmases."

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