Posted by: HAT | April 7, 2014

Something to do with the Resurrection of the Body

Image of the sculpture Lot's Wife by Kaete Ephraim Marcus

Lot’s Wife by Kaete Ephraim Marcus

Hi, Gang!

On Saturday, our reading group had a big argument about the resurrection of the body.

On Sunday, I lost my coffee mug.

Granted, it wasn’t just any coffee mug. It was the one with a blurry palm tree on it that my daughter bought me for Mother’s Day from the Dollar Tree when she was 6 that I carried pens and my glasses to class in for three years when I taught at U of L and then that I painted my initials on with green nail polish and took to church when we committed to “bring your own mug” so we could stop using disposables and save the earth that I have been drinking coffee from at church for the past seven years. So, in other words, an intrinsically valueless item that I have invested with memory and narrative significance and ego attachment. That one.

I went to the church kitchen cabinet yesterday at fellowship/potluck time to get it, and the cabinet was empty. Empty.

So, I went to the other cabinet, where the other mugs are and where it sometimes ends up, which is why I stopped leaving it in the dish drainer and started always putting it away myself. Only the white coffee cups.

I looked in every cabinet. One now has one shelf (a drastically reduced inventory, it appears to me) of random byo mugs. The top shelf. I touched every one. I did not find it. I almost cried.

By now the voice is going:“It is ridiculous that this matters to you.” “You should be ashamed of yourself for even caring about this.” “Seriously, this is so minor.”

It was a mission day. We were hearing from a missionary with whom the church has had a relationship for something like 15 years, about his work in Argentina and the southern cone of S. America. He had just preached on the history of the people who had been “disappeared.” We talked over lunch about the horrible tragedy of the Malaysian airliner. What really matters? Clearly, there is a right answer.

I washed dishes. I looked in every cabinet again. (“You should know better than to bring anything you care about to church.”) I have not transcended attachment, sentiment, or ego. I am a long, long way from self-denial.

But here’s my question: in utopia, do I get my mug back, or am I able to be happy when I lose it?

There is probably a right answer to that question, and I think I am supposed to know what it is by now.

But this morning, when I was mostly thinking about my beautiful little six-year-old daughter, I couldn’t come up with it to save my life.

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