Thursday, July 17, 2008

Perfected Imperfection

Thunder shakes the windows. Heavy rain drips from the eaves.

I think back and remember.

In an airport book store, two women talking. We were standing in the 'Religious' book section. I was hoping for some truth to read, praying for guidance. And I heard:

"You know, they say it wasn't a 'perfect' resurrection, because He still had scars...."


It took me two years to digest that whispered comment overheard from two believers, or, non-believers. I have to think it was the latter. Who could consider the resurrection of Jesus imperfect and think themselves truly remade?

Scars. Places of healed flesh ruined in this life. Perceived Imperfection. From the world's perspective, what the Lord has done is imperfect.

But there is true beauty in those scars. Perfected Imperfection. For only love can give one's self wholly. Only love can put another above one's self.

I am refreshed by His scars and for the first time, I see them on the backs of His hands. The nails went all the way through. That's something that took a while to digest.

I am coming to know the extent of His love and provision. It's like rain.

Rain. Falling heavily, washing away the filth in the air. Bringing refreshment and life. What would this world be like without rain? Yet it too could be considered "imperfect".

The first rain came with Noah's flood. Rain brought on by the sins of the world. Sins that a broken-hearted God could no longer contend with. The world needed a new start. So, He gave us one.

Gen 7:4 For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made."

It is the same with Christ's scars. We all need a new start.

So with His life, He gave us one.

1Ki 8:35 "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them,

1Ki 8:36 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.

Refreshment, cleansing, renewal. All brought about by the provision of a loving God. To bind that which is broken and thirsty. To sustain that which in itself can not have life on its own.

How could we ever consider rain imperfect? We don't. It's the only source refreshment we know.

But it wasn't so in the beginning of creation. God made this earth perfectly, without rain. The world, once stained with that first choice to doubt God's goodness, has been broken ever since. So, from the beginning, He knew it would need to rain and made it so. From the beginning, He knew we would need new life, and He has made it so through Jesus.

Act 14:17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."

Luk 24:39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."

Jhn 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand [here], and put [it] into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."

Now, that which is seemingly imperfect, restores life. Be it rain, or His scars, they are necessary for our survival. His perfect provision for His fallen creation. We all constantly search for perfection. It can only be found in God. With Him, all is "right as rain".

One just exemplifies the other. Evidence of our loving God's provision.

The next time you think on the rain, think of His healing hands and the scars there, even on the backs. How refreshing. What renewal.

Thank You Jesus, for rain. Thank you for your scars. What would this life be like without them?

Thank You, Father, for vision. May You be forever glorified, even in the seemingly imperfect.

You will make it all good in Your perfect time. You alone are Holy.

In gratitude, Amen.