Photographic Embalmment


In reading about the life of Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), missionary to India, I came across her perspective on being photographed. It is interesting, to say the least, perhaps convicting. Once while being photographed with a church group, she expressed her thoughts succinctly.

“I wish it were possible to keep from this mode of embalmment, but one can’t without hurting kind feelings and making a fuss.”

Amy always resisted being photographed. She didn't want to be photographically embalmed as she was, for she had the hope of someday being clothed upon with a glorious body like unto Christ's glorious body.

I wonder how this attitude would fare under the selfie generation of today? Many appear to be lovers of their own selves, photographically embalming their vile bodies for themselves and others to gush over, as though there is no hope of a superior and glorious body, like His, with which we shall one day be clothed.

Philippians 3:20–21

20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

2 Corinthians 5:2

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

Perhaps if we more earnestly desired to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven, we may not so easily become enraptured by this worldly practice of photographic embalmment.

Do not the Scriptures give us the greatest portrait upon which to look?

Hebrews 12:2-3

2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 For consider him...

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