Days of Grace: Meditations and Practices for Living with Illness by Mary C. Earle. 

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Day Twenty-One

How Dear to Me is Your Dwelling

Written By Mary C. Earle

Practice Note

Meditation: <listen>

How dear to me is your dwelling, O LORD of hosts!
—Psalm 84:1

Our bodies are the very dwelling place of God. Part of the great “showing” that we receive in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus is that God is telling us that the divine life and matter are made for each other. In Jesus, God lives a human life from the inside out. That means that God shows forth who God is through a body. Yes, Jesus had headaches and indigestion and bone-deep fatigue. He bled real blood and he felt real pain.

God cherishes your body as God’s own dwelling. Your body is as dear to God as the body of Jesus. Your body, even with its weakness and its difficulties, is a remarkable creation. And it is your body that allows you to be in this earthly existence in a particular way, knowing the world and those whom you love, experiencing this life in all its transitory beauty and mystery.

Imagine cherishing your body as God does. Imagine saying of your body this day, “How dear to me is your dwelling, O LORD of hosts!” Know that your body is indeed the very dwelling place of God, even if it is afflicted, even if you struggle from day to day. Deep within your very cells, deep within the very matter of your physical self, God in Christ dwells with you and makes a home there.

Tender and loving God, may I ever remember that You cherish this dear body, broken as it may be. May I honor your presence within and remember that this body is your own creation, sustained in being by your own Spirit, and honored by your Christ. Amen.


Practice: <listen>

Begin by finding a comfortable position, and then slowly allowing your breath to find its own rhythm. When you have been breathing gently, focusing on the breath for several minutes, then add this prayer:

You make your home (inhalation)
In this body (exhalation)

Stay with the prayer as long as you wish. When you sense the time of prayer has come to its natural end, offer a simple thanksgiving.

Reference Note: All  psalms are taken from the psalter in The Book of Common Prayer, 1979.