Perfection is not the attainment of some static ideal. It is the ability to behold and belove the beauty of the imperfect. We don’t behold the Corona Arch and think, “If only I could shave off a few tons over here and put it over there …. then it would be perfect.” Likewise, we shouldn’t do that to ourselves. We shouldn’t do that to each other.

Instead, we must learn how to stand with awe and wonder at all of God’s incredible works in progress without taint of ego, judgment or thirst to control. That doesn’t mean we ignore reality and call the imperfect perfect. It means that we gaze upon our weather-beaten and wrinkled faces and look into each others’ world-weary eyes with a deep sense of respect. It means that we listen to the relentless winds of chance and circumstance howl, whistle and wend their way through the cracks and crevices of our deepest insecurities, our most cherished relationships, our most exposed and vulnerable parts, and we ask, “How are we still standing?”

Loving what’s broken, bent, shaved off, cut away, beaten down, worn out, fractured and fragile … that’s what makes us perfect. We are all monuments, worthy of being beheld.


59 thoughts on “Perfection

  1. This fits perfectly with my recent understanding of the Lord’s admonition to “…be ye therefore perfect…”. As I was reading the Sermon on the Mount a few months ago I noticed that the paragraph marker which includes that last verse in Matt 5 actually begins at verse 43. That means that the entire thought being expressed must be taken properly into context by reading all of v43 to v48.

    And what is that entire thought?

    ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

    To me this greatly clarifies what the Savior meant when he commanded us to “Be ye therefore perfect…” His expectation is clear. We are to “love our enemies”, “bless them that curse”, “do good to them that hate”, and “pray for them which despitefully use” us (as well as others).

    He then gives a wonderful demonstration of God’s love–his perfection–as it related to all, the evil and the good, the just and the unjust. Father’s sun sheds light on all. Father provides rain for all.

    He doesn’t withhold his gifts! Why should we?

    This is one of the primary ways in which we not only can, but ought, to be perfect. We have to set aside judgement, we have to set aside the imperfections of others, we have to love everyone–our friends, our family, and our enemies.

  2. What a beautiful metaphor! The raw beauty of the arches is an inspiring way to demonstrate the way each individual Child of God is shaped and changed through the elements of a fallen world. To learn to love yourself is the only path to God because we must find God within ourselves. Only then can Christ save us.

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