I probably should not do this, but I’m going to give it a try.
I’ve been saying that alot lately.
But I can’t get this new word out of my mind. It keeps poking at me like a teenage boy, always hungry and refusing to be satisfied unless I respond. In the past, I have been quick to respond, staying up all night to find a solution to a problem, a satisfactory reply to the new idea rattling in my head.
However, writing the book proposal has been a call to slow down and think differently. Lately, writing has been less like a frenzied response to a craving and more like the slow opening of an oyster shell.
The outside of the oyster, covered in sand, barely protrudes from the coastal surface. But once the beachcomber picks up her newly found treasure and cleanses it in the ocean’s incoming waves, the shell’s surface glimmers iridescent patterns — lavender, bright blues and subtle pinks.
And then begins the anticipation. Upon prying open the stubborn closure of the oyster, what will one find? Might there be something valuable inside? Isn’t that what we all hope for, really — a genuine discovery of something beautiful and priceless?
In the life cycle of an oyster, occasionally a foreign substance, like a grain of sand, finds its way inside the shell and gets stuck between the shell and mantle, aggravating the mantle. In an attempt to cover up the irritation, the oysters covers the irritant with layers of nacre, which forms a pearl. Irritation causes coverup which leads to something new, and in the case of the oyster, the result is the coveted saltwater pearl, exquisitely formed inside.
In the last year, I’ve found myself vulnerable to new and wildly generous people, with whom I was initially afraid to share. They have been willing to challenge my beliefs about God, which were fairly small beforehand. They have pushed me to uncomfortable places so that I might freely explore what is under the surface of years of fear that have formed this girl’s ways of performing. Ways of living.
So, the shell has been slowly opening, but the fear is this. What might be revealed inside? What if the aggravation wasn’t enough to form something well-shaped, perfect in form and appearance? What if it’s completely hollow inside and all the words spilling onto the page are for me only, and not for anyone else’s good? These questions, one must ask because this has always been true: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).
But Love answers these questions for me. The Love of Jesus that bends forward to reach us, rescues us in the sinking, frees us to step out into unexplored territory — that Love moves me to embody brave and open up this shell that cannot now, and will never, protect me from hurt. For the sake of the Love, He has called me to enjoy courage. Even the greatest master of language professes that Love is worth risk, for love “is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken”(5-6).
So, it is out of an attempt to Love that I try this new thing that I probably shouldn’t, but the idea won’t leave my brain and my heart keeps leading me back to scribble words all over the yellow legal pad.
I’m officially making up a new word, and I think it’s going to be a process to get it documented in Miriam-Websters, but why not try?
Bodytruth (n) : the summation of spiritual, psychological, scientific, historical, and story-based evidence that guides one in assessing the sacred value of the body in everyday functionality as he/she pursues beauty.
Believing Bodytruth exists will be one challenge with which I’m charged. Persuading others to believe that such a truth exists will be another set of challenges. But I’m looking beyond, attempting to see the forest for the trees.
What if, in the end, the mesmerizing beauty of the discovered jewel, hidden and waiting to be discovered, surprises us? What might Bodytruth reveal about our understanding of who we are and who we were always created to be?
***For clarification: There are a few businesses named bodytruth, but the word has not been documented as an official entry in the above listed dictionary.