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The Suitcase—Occasional Devotional by Jenny Lou Jones
Yesterday at 11:39pm
The Suitcase

We just got back from a quick vacation at the beach. I was hurried before we went and basically threw anything "beachy" into my suitcase like the mandatory flip flops, a bathing suit that I never tried on because I don't like to , a cover up to cover up the internet bathing suit that I already don't like, yoga pants and a Life is Good tee-shirt. These clothes with sunglasses, a visor and an insipid book are really all one needs to rough it in a beautiful 3 story beach house.

Now there is a difference in what one really needs and what one actually takes. What I actually took for four days was my most of my summer wardrobe because I couldn't decide which Life is Good shirts I needed so I took three of them. Next came the yoga pants, what if I needed short yoga pants or Capri yoga pants or slouchy yoga pants or very nice yoga pants so I took all four. Then I needed a couple of out to eat/do something clothes. Should I take the cute outfit or the I want to look trendy and throw a bunch of things together and make it look artsy outfit? Then there are the shoe issues...flip flops, small heel, higher heel, pointy toe, cutout toe, strappy sandal, ergonomic sandal, or a work out shoe that resembles a sandal.... I took a bag of shoes. Yes, I took a bag of shoes to the beach; how does than not seem logical?

Now which luggage will I use? The practical black suitcases that I got for a gift; the oh-so-cute hard-sided pink suitcase with big white polka dots or the now out of circulation Very Bradley quilted with embroidered initials? So being a future "bag lady" I chose assorted suitcases, Wal-Mart plastic sacks, a couple of random totes; thereby making each bag a category of much needed beach accessories. For instance, I took 6 books for a 4 day trip. I haven't read six books this whole year but just in case I got the urge. One bag was for my hair care products, one for my makeup, one for my "do something other than beach" clothes, another for everything for the beach, and one for my workout clothes, oh, and don't forget my bag of shoes! Lance just usually just shakes his head in disbelief at me. And that's when I remind him I'm like Kermit; it's not easy being me!

While we were at the beach and wearing my carefully chosen clothes we got the word that Lance's 94 year old stepfather had passed away. We went home from the beach to be with family and do the "funerally" things that one does when a loved one dies.

In the eulogy the minister said that that Mr. T's body was just plain worn out. He continued with it's not our bodies that are planned for eternity, it's our souls. Our bodies are just a vessel as we live on this earth...kinda like a suitcase (my words). The body (suitcase) holds the things we need to function in this life, as time goes on, our suitcase gets a little shabbier and marked up and dilapidated. Sure we can get a new zipper or a wheel put on. I guess in this analogy maybe that's a pacemaker or knee joint. At the airport, I've even seen suitcases wrapped with duct tape (maybe that's some kind of facelift), but the fact is that our suitcases wear out over time and at the appropriate time we leave our suitcase here on earth and send our souls to eternity.

At the funeral home, I overheard a little girl ask her mother questions about Mr. T. "So, she said, "Mr. T has gone to heaven?" "Yes", her mother said. "Why didn't he take his body with him?" the little girl added. Mom replied with, "Well he left it here because his insides went to heaven." "Hmmmm....she came back with, "when's he coming back here?" Her mom told her that he plans to move there. OK was her reply and she went on her way.

What a sweet eavesdropped conversation I thought. All she needed was an explanation...he plans to live there.

Those are my plans to. I hope my body gets good and wrinkled before I trade up for my perfect body in heaven. I'm hoping that new body will have big hair and be tall with long legs. For all of us, I'm so glad that Christ offered us a perfect life to live forever if we believe in him. For anyone who has faced death or has had a dear one die, it's just a comfort to know what the future holds. Up until then I'll go through my time and ask for guidance, forgiveness and presence from him. And when my time comes, no matter what decade I'm in, I know my old tired body will be stamped with "Return to Sender" and be sent to the one who made me.

Now, I'm just wondering how I can forward that bag of shoes.

Colossians 3:2—Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things.

Jenny Lou Jones, May 25, 2009

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