a response to Imperfection

this IS the God that i want everything to do with!! the God that
softens and ripens my heart, and then breaks it open so that it might provide
nurture, the God that within each and every day of this miraculous, perfect
journey that we call life ( filled with that which we label as less-than worthy
of Love, including ourselves ) challenges my heart to grow and teaches my soul
about love, the God that somehow understands better than i that floods produce
fertile soil and volcanoes new land forms, the way in which fire creates
meadow… 

this IS the God i love, within all,  and which breaks me open to tenderness and
compassion. there is a wholeness, a oneness to God for me, outside of which
there is nothing. my deep love for this God compels me to love all that i see
‘in the least of these’. in these faces, i see my perfect God, whom i am called
to love with all my heart.

i think perhaps we superimpose our ideal of ‘perfection’ onto God, whose ways
are not our ‘common sense’ ways.  if God did gaze upon the whole of what God
had created and said ‘it is good’, then who are we to decide what is/was included in
that vision, or to undeclare the perfection of what God is doing?

perhaps it is we who decide to exclude certain pieces from that whole
when we want to know what is ‘good’ and what is ‘evil’ … perhaps our own
insecurities come into play here about whether or not we are truly lovable as
we are when we become conscious of our ‘differences’ and start covering up
those aspects of ourselves which we deem (or have been deemed by others) as
unworthy. perhaps our ‘disobedience’ (literally not listening) is not hearing
that ‘all is good’

i read an interesting article recently on the theology of shame, which suggested
that perhaps ‘original shame’ is a better expression for that which we needed
healing from in the arrival of jesus, who cast his lot in with the shamed.
original shame about who we are, which buries our goodness under layers of
not-good-enoughness. we cut off parts of ourselves, vital, life-giving,
love-giving parts of ourselves, which are made to be unique vessels of God’s
self-expression.

i have learned that the passage often translated as ‘be perfect as your father
in heaven is also perfect’ is more closely translated as ‘be whole as your
father in heaven is also whole’.

now what if we are not called to be ‘perfect’, but to be whole. what if the
whole of who we are and of who God is, in all of God’s ‘incomprehendable’, ‘imperfect’ ways
and forms, IS perfect….as are you …just as you are.

the healing then that is required is to open to embrace it, to love it,

this ludicrous God, whose very sacredness is unveiled in moments of profound
profanity, (eg the cross). this ludicrous God, revealed moments such as this,
in which the heavens seem to open up and we find ourselves falling before the
wholeness of the Holy.

this again is mechthild’s vision of god…mary, her breast leaking milk standing on
one side, jesus, dripping blood standing on the other. this is the yin/yang.
the light within the darkness.  jesus on the cross. julian’s vision of the wound in jesus’ side
gushing water and blood as in birth. my own experience of the sacred uncovering, unclothing itself in moments of deep despair. god’s naked presence within all.

 all is well,

emma

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M.C. Reardon

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