Spirituality and our Body!

















(Painting:The Temple of His Body © Jan L. Richardson)

I had the opportunity to go on a Spiritual Retreat at the Mercy Center which is located in Auburn, California. The facilitator gave us a poem by Jan Richardson to read and then she wanted us to reflect and write what the Lord was speaking to us. Here is the poem:

Blessing the Body[1]

This blessing takes
one look at you
and all it can say is

Holy hands.
Holy face.
Holy feet.
Holy everything
in between.

Holy even in pain.
Holy even when weary.
In brokenness, holy.
In shame, holy still.

Holy in delight.
Holy in distress.
Holy when being born.
Holy when we lay it down
at the hour of our death.

So, friend,
open your eyes
(holy eyes).
For one moment
see what this blessing sees,
this blessing that knows
how you have been formed
and knit together
in wonder and
in love.

Welcome this blessing
that folds its hands
in prayer
when it meets you;
receive this blessing
that wants to kneel
in reverence
before you:
you who are
home for God
in this world.


What an incredible poem! My focus was on the first stanza: “This blessing takes one look at you and all it can say is holy!” This stanza is a reminder to me of the amazing miraculous way that God has created me to be a mirror of His Image. The divine design of “Imago Dei” is the Constitutional Declaration that I belong to Him and He is in me! The very fabric of my DNA is birthed of His breath which enlivens me to the understanding that He desires to reside in me. Home than is not simply the destination of heaven as a future event but instead, it is an ever present reality in my “NOW MOMENTS” that He desires to be intimately connected to me!


He lives in the midst of the rhythms and routines of my life. At my work, at my play, in all things He is deeply aware of how I live. Furthermore, His heart aches to be part of that which He desires for me which is to be connected to Him in every aspect of my life. My openness involves me practicing a hospitality of inviting Him into every room of my heart.


With a whisper of His voice the finite connects with the infinite and once again my eyes become open with a sense of awe concerning the miracle of how I am designed by the Master Artist and the finger print of God seals my existence. He calls me to be with Him!

[1] This reflection is part of the series “Teach Me Your Paths: A Pilgrimage into Lent.” If you’re new to the series, welcome! You can visit the first post, Teach Me Your Paths: Entering Lent, to pick it up from the beginning. – See more at: http://paintedprayerbook.com/2012/03/05/3rd-sunday-in-lent-speaking-of-the-body/#sthash.4fHwBMCQ.dpuf From a lectionary reading for Lent 3: John 2.13-22 http://paintedprayerbook.com/2012/03/05/3rd-sunday-in-lent-speaking-of-the-body/


About PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”
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