It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it. The fountain display at the Bellagio in Las Vegas is wondrous.
Minutes after arriving home from my morning run, my husband cornered me in a quiet spot in the kitchen. Backpack shuffling and cereal munching continued in the background as his words seemed to speak in slow motion, “Did you hear what happened in Vegas?”
Inhaling and exhaling deeply, I knew that the answer to the question involved death, an incident likely grave and unsettling.
After shaking my head a quiet “No,” he proceeded to tell me a summary of the story that had just been hours released. We have dear friends that live in Las Vegas, co-workers of Dave’s who travel there often, and it’s one of those places that is so randomly frequented by Facebook acquaintances and close friends that we can guarantee we’ll know someone affected. Someone we know and their people are suddenly living in a very desperate place of questioning, “Why?”
So, on the surface, it seems silly or maybe selfish to look inward at what someone might be struggling with concerning body image when the gravity of the Las Vegas shooting weighs burdensome on our souls.
We live in a broken and desecrated world. When I think about the destruction of bodies, those left lifeless and those still clinging to life after this savage shooting, I cling to what is left that is sacred. And my body is that. It is a holy temple, meant to be used by God, to love. With these bare hands, what might I offer to people who are hurting and desperate for meaning?
In the midst of violation and degradation, believers do have a unique responsibility. We must seek healing for ourselves so that we might understand the journey that the Lord seeks to lead people through as they come to Him in their disparity.
Seeking healing for our own wounds is a process that we endeavor to experience, and in our journeys, we take note of our pain and our healing. And if there is healing to do with these bodies that we live in and serve from, then we ought not to leave the wounds undressed. Isn’t it possible that the Lord will use both our pain and healing as we engage in relationships with believers and unbelievers, especially in times of tragedy?
I believe, YES. In an attempt to cling to what the Lord is showing me about past lies I have believed about what is beautiful and good and worthy, I press on here. If so moved, I hope you’ll take some time to read the interview posted at www.bodytruth.org. Here, you’ll read a conversation between myself and my trusted friend and Dallas-based pediatrician, Dr. Sue Bacsik.
You will surely learn a few ways that Sue guides her patients and their parents as she evaluates young women in their questions about body image and eating disorders. At the very least, I hope you hear her heart for young women. She takes careful steps in looking at the whole child/adolescent as she visits with her patients. And she reminded me that our pediatricians should be one of our first resources for helping our daughters have open, reasonable conversations about what is body truth.
A prayer to close: Lord, as we face the very uncertainties that unfold daily, please help us cling to your unchanging kindness and steadfast love. Help us pursue healing here that we might carry hope forward to those hurting and hungry for your Presence.