Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Perfection!!


A voice spoke
A wild and glorious universe
Exploded into being

God saw that it was good

With His breath
Life was given to humanity

God saw that it was very good
and . . .

He 
never 
took it back . . .

Never*

What is perfection?
A perfect cube has six identical square sides
A perfect sphere is . . .
A perfect sphere!

How about a perfect tree?
A perfect mountain?
A perfect bird?**

A perfect human?

Do we not, each 
Have an ideal for which we strive?
(and invariably fall short)
A perfection that
Once achieved
Holds promise of success
Security
Peace?

And you know the rules.
You know all the "shoulds" and "should nots"
That have been given,
or assumed . . . 
That must be kept
If you are to be
The kind of person you're supposed to be;
so, you can measure up and
Be the very best you, you can be!

Oh, sure, one can never be perfect!
But, it’s good to strive,
Is it not?
We are expected to strive,
Are we not?

After which of these definitions of perfection
Might you be running?

Having all essential elements
Unblemished; faultless
Correct or precise 
Excellent in all respects
Conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type

What if I were to say
That you are perfect right now
No improvements needed?

This is not to say we needn't strive.
That growth and improvement 
Are not desirable . . . 
Striving, growth, change, learning . . . 
These give and come from life and health and love

But . . . 
Judging one's value
By how close we are to our ideals . . .
By how well we meet the expectations of self . . . another . . .society . . .
Is like using a ruler to measure how much water is in a lake!
(or, perhaps, like using a tape measure to determine a woman's value?)
It's the wrong form of measure.

It also assumes that we know what all the real rules are!
(We don't)

A perfect tree 
Is a tree that behaves like a tree!
It sends shoots up toward the sun . . .
Roots deep into the earth . . . 
It inhales carbon dioxide
Exhales oxygen 
Does it's whole photosynthesis thing . . .

Grows wherever it is planted!

Only people put trees
In perfect rows
Or trim the branches to be perfectly symmetrical

Nature is wonderfully random 
It is an incredible tapestry 
Of life forms that flow
Through, around and with
Each other

Nature is "messy"
Unpredictable
Animals and plants
Behave in all kinds of strange ways
Creatures suffer and die
Some limp around with various injuries . . .

But, it's all good.
As it is meant to be.

You
Are wonderfully
 Perfectly human

"God's works are perfect
in every stage of their growth."
Hannah Whitall Smith

Our lives are messy
Crazy
Screwed up
Amazing
Disappointing
Terrifying
Blissful
Wild

We are
Disappointed
Disappointing
Happy
Angry
Hurtful
Hurt
Delightful
Hateful
Confused
Deceitful
Honest

We feel
Ugly or beautiful
Right or wrong
Confused or clear minded . . .

None of these having anything to do
With determining whether you are
Worthy of love 
Valuable

We are perfectly imperfect human beings.
What else would we be?

You are the perfect you
With all the wonderful "flaws" and "weaknesses"
That shape who you are
That are shaping who you will become

And it is very good.
Who you are, is good.

Love says so

So, love your sweet, precious self
Smile at your humanity
Love your human ways
and your unpredictable, painful, wonderful human life
We're all in the same, very human, boat!



*for more on this, read Jonathan Brink’s, “Discovering the God Imagination: Reconstructing a Whole New Christianity”

**  See, "Be the Bird"