Putting things in perspective with “Love Thy Body”

I’m in the middle of reading “Love Thy Body” by Nancy Pearcey. I surprisingly came across something that put a few things into perspective for me about this whole crazy time with the Controlavirus (thanks for that clever play on c*vid, Stand Up for the Truth podcast!).

The split

If you don’t know anything about the book, it’s mostly about how secularists (or humanists) have split truth into essentially two parts: one is purely scientific (public, objective, valid for everyone), and the other is theology/morality (private, subjective, relativistic) (pg 12). Pearcy explains that this concept extends into a variety of areas, including personhood (the physical body is split from the emotional/spiritual/social). It’s fascinating and I can’t wait to do a book review on this book when I finish it!

As I read, I was thinking to myself there had to be a tie-in to the v*rus with this concept since it seemed to me there has been such an emphasis on “physically” staying healthy. But there were few, if any, talking about keeping people emotionally, or socially, or spiritually healthy. Then I finally hit on a part of the book that shed some light on what we’re experiencing right now and why.


Pearcy started to discuss hospices, which were actually started by a Christian, English medical humanitarian, Dame Cecily Saunders, in the 1960’s. Most doctors before that time trained to only heal the physical body. They treated it more like a puzzle to put together or a car to fix, rather than a human being. So doctors would try to lengthen the life of their patients at all costs. However, they did not consider if their patients even wanted to extend their lives at the cost of prolonged physical or emotional or social pain/exhaustion.


The answer to this by secularists has been to allow people to choose when to end their lives. This is especially true in cases where extensive care may be necessary or the person may be in a lot of pain. Rather than continuing to try to extend their life (assuming that is the expressed desire of the patient), secularists believe people should be allowed to choose to simply end their life in a humane way. However: “The concept behind the hospice movement is that patients are whole persons, not just physical organisms. Saunders said, “I coined the term ‘total pain,’ from my understanding that dying people have physical, spiritual, psychological, and social pain that must be treated,”” (pg 114).

Lights started going on in my brain, and I thought to myself, “That’s exactly it!” That’s what’s been bothering me so much about the response to this pandemic. I just hadn’t put together the reason for the response. We have been trained for years to separate our physical needs from our emotional, spiritual, and social needs.

At first glance, this example would seem to be in contrast to what we’ve been dealing with these past few months. Euthanasia devalues the body by allowing life to be taken at will. Now, we’re trying to protect the body as much as possible. However, the concept of separating the physical from the emotional, spiritual, and social is more where I saw that there was an overlap.

Our integrated bodies

The LORD puts a tremendous amount of value on the entire person. So much so, that the Bible refers to the body as the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). Clearly, modern secularists espouse a different definition of the body. According to Scripture, there is no separation of the physical body from the emotional, spiritual, and social (Psalm 139).

This leads to how this pandemic has been dealt with. We are primarily focusing on the physical body. We are protecting the physical body, while completely disregarding our needs as whole human beings that include emotional, spiritual, and social needs. Those aren’t just “desires” but “needs.” We can not continue to hide from each other and be separate in the name of securing some form of fleeting health and security. Our health extends beyond our physical bodies. That is why there have been so many suicides and overdoses and overall misery around the world.

We need to recognize that what we are currently doing is not life. This is not healthy, for anyone. Should we be cognizant of those who are vulnerable to this v*rus? I’ve said it so many times before and I’ll continue saying it – absolutely yes! However, for the great majority of the healthy public, we need to go back to normal as much as we can. The best way to “Love Thy Body” is to wash our hands and be around other people. Give hugs. Look at people’s entire faces. If not, the health that we hold so dear will be just an elusive dream.

We were not designed to live our lives on an island or in a sterile environment. If we continue on as we have been doing, we will have allowed a large portion of our “fully lived” lives to be taken from us. All of this will be done with our full acknowledgment and approval.

I pray we choose to live our lives in a way that is for our good, and His glory.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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