Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The Weight of a Soul
21 grams. The medical community has long concluded...the weight of a soul escaping a body results in a loss of 21 grams. This is equivalent to 0.05 lbs. Barely measurable...easily overlooked...an infinitesimal weight...unless you knew the soul.
How interesting that something so minute represents the complete essence of a human. That piece of existence...that passes from time into eternity, contributes so very little to the physical body...but without it, the gift would be empty on the inside...no matter the beauty of the wrapping.
Something interesting about the number 21....a parallel port if you wish....Pier 21 in Halifax was, from 1928 to 1971, the place where immigrants entered Canada. It was called the "Gateway of Hope." It was where people ending an exhausting journey were ushered into a new land...a new adventure. Their past reality was of no importance...and their new world was in front of them. All they had to do, was leave a little something behind....the weight of their past life.
I am amazed that there is any weight associated at all with the soul. For all of those skeptics out there who believe that this life ends when the last breath is drawn..I am sure this information is unsettling. But I know, that as I grow older...and still feel like my 18 yr old self...it is my body that is changing and aging..and not my soul...my soul belongs to eternity, my body is bound to earth.
So what to do with my 21 grams while it has an earthly postal code? Before it abandons a familiar existence for an unfamiliar horizon?
Make it work hard. Measure its weight daily in acts of hope. Let it be amplified and stretched to expected limitations...and pushed beyond what is merely acceptable, to that which is extraordinary.
C.S.Lewis summed it up impeccably for me..." You don't have a soul. You HAVE a body. You ARE a soul". May your 21 grams find a unique and singular purpose in this brief human life. May they strive to serve this world, while being mindful of the tug towards an exhilarating port of call...one step off the ship of humanity. May your 21 grams be missed not for their lack of weight...but for their irreplacable imprint on your world.