Imperfect But Still Beautiful

A few years ago one of my daughters gave me a gorgeous ceramic piece which had been crafted by an artist friend. It was strictly decorative, not utilitarian; which is fine because art can serve the purpose of lifting our spirits, causing us to reflect perhaps introspectively, or encouraging our minds toward how we might make something beautiful with our own hands. Unfortunately, the plastic stand meant to support the piece of ceramic art in an upright position was not strong enough to hold that weight against the slightest touch. And, you guessed it . . . the piece broke right down the middle when I was rearranging some items on my mantle. I had only had it a short time and I had already broken it! And, to make matters worse, it was a gift!

I decided I was going to see if I could super-glue the two pieces back together. “Oh, no!” you’re thinking, “Here comes another fiasco!” Actually I did quite well in getting the two pieces back together as it was almost a clean break. I haven’t shopped for a sturdy wooden stand to use with the piece as I don’t think I can trust any base to bear its weight in an upright placement. I don’t want to take the chance on breaking it again.

I now display the art piece lying down. You have to look down upon it to appreciate its beauty. But, at least, it’s not going to get broken very easily.

As I’ve thought about this broken piece successfully mended and still enjoyed for its beauty, I realize that too many people who have been broken down by life think they can never be put back together again. They are of the “Humpty Dumpty” mentality who “sat on a wall,” and “took a great fall.” They have decided that just as “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men” were not able to put that broken egg back together again, neither can their lives be salvaged. How tragic.

It is true that actions have consequences and there are some consequences that will reach on into the future. I decided some time ago that the second half of the Old Testament Holy Bible verse Numbers 14:18 which mystifies some when it says, “He [God] punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation” (New International Version) is not the rod of chastisement of a vindictive God. It is simply stating that our misdeeds as parents or grandparents or other significant adult figures cause pain not only in our own lives but affect the generation or generations to come.

The Holy Bible in the New Testament tells us, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 NIV) even though in another place it states, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10 NIV). How do we reconcile these two statements? The first is a commandment in the same way as the Old Testament Ten Commandments. They are all road maps, guides, absolutes to be reached for even though they cannot be perfectly attained as long as we are imperfect human beings.

The only way to reach perfection is to let the righteousness of Christ become your righteousness. The Son part of a triune God took on flesh, in other words was born as a human, in order to be able to say, “I know what you are going through, I’ve suffered, I’ve been abused, I’ve been tempted.” You can trust His righteousness to become your righteousness as He has lived the human experience.

How can Christ’s righteousness become your righteousness? You can let His righteousness become yours by asking God in the name of his Son to become personal to you and by being willing to follow His direction toward a new path. You may have been broken but you can be put back together again. Maybe this Christmas season is a good time to consider being made whole and being made beautiful again.

Short Essay on Finding Beauty in Imperfection
Connie Carlisle Polley, 2020

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