no body but ours.

A whole lot of years ago, in the 1500’s, St. Teresa of Avila wrote this:

Christ Has No Body

Christ has no body but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

Compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,

Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,

Yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

compassion on this world.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

This post was swirling around in my head before the tragic massacre and attack on the LGBQTI community in Orlando but my passion for it is even more illuminated, stronger than ever.

Christ has no body on earth but ours.

No body on earth but ours.

This is it.

It isn’t going to drop out of the sky.

Jesus isn’t going to be represented any other way except through his followers.

No matter how many people read the Bible and try to get their head around Jesus, the ways he will be reflected is through the people who claim to follow him.

It’s what the world will know us by.

It’s what our neighbors will know us by.

It’s what our family and friends will know us by.

Christ has no body here but ours.

It’s a crazy story, but this is part of the divine comedy. We’re it. This is who God entrusted it to.

And honestly, a lot of the world only know many Christians by our mouth. And oh, it’s been a big one. Roaring, yelling, spewing, pontificating, scripturizing, picking minutia apart, positioning, positioning, positioning.

It’s painful.

It hurts.

It separates.

It divides.

And it’s time for some of us to shut up.

The harm that’s been done is enough.


Christ has no body here but ours.

No hands and feet but ours.

Our eyes, our ears, our hearts, our hands, our feet.

The question of the day is how are we going to use them?

To walk away from others not like us or toward them?

To keep them clean and protected or to get them dirty?

To comfort or to harm?

To lock with others in solidarity or to fold them in and stay comfortable?

To look beyond the surface and see each other’s dignity or to turn away and keep shining the light in our own tribe’s eyes?

To listen for words that make us comfortable or to strain to hear the real stories of pain and suffering and hope and glory?

Our tangible presence in the world matters.

There is a deep loneliness that pervades this land, a split inside so many, the divine image of God covered up by all kinds of rubble–family craziness, religious wounds, life-experiences, and a host of other rocks that get heaped onto our heart so for so many it’s barely beating anymore.

Oh, how we need each other.

To uncover the rubble.

Our eyes are not meant to look away.

They are meant to look deeply into the face of every single person we meet and see in them God’s image. Their dignity, their hope, their just-like-us-ness. Our dignity, our hope, our just-like-me-ness.

Christ has no body here but ours.

Our mouths are meant to bless and honor and speak words of grace.

Our hands are meant to touch and hug and help and carry burdens (I’m always struck by how many people never feel the warmth and healing of a safe hug)

Our feet are meant to carry us toward each other, to go where others won’t go, to show up when others won’t.

Our eyes are meant to see beyond what’s on the surface and into hearts made in the image of God, desperate to love and be loved.

Our hearts are meant to be broken over each other’s pain and suffering and filled with hope for the beauty that can always come out of ashes.

Christ has no body here but ours.

We’re not perfect. We’re human. We will screw all kinds of things up as we em-body. There’s only so much we can each do.

But I know this: We can do something beyond use our mouth since that’s the thing that probably gets most of us in trouble.

We can be Christ’s hand and feet and eyes and ears and heart.

Today, I am so grateful for the bodies I know that embody Christ all over the world. I see you. I hear you. I feel you. You give me hope and are one of the reasons I still have faith.

In the midst of so much brokenness in the world, Light keeps breaking in through human hearts with divine inspiration.

Darkness cannot win.

Love does.

Yeah, Christ has no body here but ours.

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.


  • Kathy I could not have said it better. I love the poem. It speaks deeply to me as to what Christian faith should be about.

  • Kathy, without a doubt this is by far the best response I have seen to not only this most recent tragedy, but also to the unending violence that so deeply stains our world. In the days immediately following this horrific event I had to stop reading the responses from the so-called religious community. Pastors, para-church ministries and other self-appointed people and groups supposedly speaking for God, spouting hatred and ignorance and rejoicing in violence filled the news channels. These are not my people!

    This looks so unlike Jesus. Trying to use any Bible verse to support harming another person requires ignoring the corpus of Scripture, especially the words of Jesus, and causes me to suppose that some have little idea what the Bible even says, but find verses, bits and pieces here and there to use against people they dislike, against their supposed enemies. If we cannot speak in love, we should not speak.

    When one espouses violence against anyone, that tacitly supports violence against everyone with whom we disagree. Ultimately that gives others permission to commit acts of violence against those with whom they disagree, and that monster will sooner rather than later come back to bite one in the butt.


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