Monday, May 11, 2009

Body Language and the Kingdom of God

Low-end estimates indicate that body language is 75% or so of total communication. The irony of this statistic for blogs (and other gnostic media) notwithstanding, body language stands to tell us more about the people with whom we communicate--and what it is they're desiring to communicate to us--than anything else.

But that's not all...

The individual who would become more self-aware has long been coached to listen to her own body. This would suggest that sometimes our bodies know more about us than we do--or at least that what our bodies do is as real a part of who we are as what we formally acknowledge in the consciousness of our heads.

All of which is my physical case for the importance of posture, especially when we relate it to prayer and the embodied love to which God calls us: posture stands to help us live in truth with our intentions.

Noticing my clinched fists, for example, I might discover with greater honesty my difficulty in listening to the person before me. Becoming aware of what turns out to be my unnamed resentment, I find myself confronting two options: 1) recognize my resentment and end the conversation; 2) let go of the resentment and unclench my fists. In this case, the physical act of un-clinching allows my head and my whole self to share the same desire--and to be honest (truthful) within myself.

At this point, I think of the epistle from last Sunday (yesterday), the 5th Sunday of Easter: "Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars..."

I read these words, just now, with the physical reference point of Christ's Body, the Church, and I wonder what postures stand to make the Church more truthful? Where are our fists clenched tight to each other? Where might we open our white-knuckled fists to our God?

And lest I leave you in rhetorical silence, here's a provocative start:
http://willimon.blogspot.com/2009/04/passing-plate.html

And a teaser:
"No church that expends 90% of its money on itself is a faithful congregation. There is no way to follow Jesus with a closed hand. Jesus’ great gift makes givers of us all."

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