Psalms 84:3-6, 8
It is said that Michelangelo, the genius of the Renaissance art world, would study a slab of marble before he began sculpting it. He would take time to study and examine the stone so that he understood the inherent flaws in the marble. It was only when he could see and accept the flaws that he would understand the potential of the stone and could begin his work, letting the characteristics and imperfections of the marble lead him in creating his next work of art, a masterpiece often designed to glorify God.
If only it was that easy for us! We usually don’t see any potential in our failings but instead fight these imperfections, denying them, ignoring them, wishing they didn’t exist or fatalistically knowing that our flaws are our downfall. But God, the artistic creator doesn’t see us that way at all. God invites us to accept and learn from our flaws and in understanding them, use them as the potential to create a life that glorifies God.
In today’s gospel, Jesus talks about the buds on a tree as a sign that summer is near. It doesn’t mean that summer has come, that the buds have borne fruit or that the work of nature is done – it only means that the bud is a sign of summer – a sign of the life that will be coming if only we continue to nurture the life of the tree.
We aren’t creatures that are “complete” either, but like the tree in bud, are invited to wait with trust and hope for the fruit that will come in the future. We may not even be aware that our flaws are an opportunity for grace or that the buds in our lives are the places where God has touched us with life, waiting patiently for us to recognize God’s hand in our creation.
So often it is a matter of looking around in our lives and recognizing the reign of God, the touch of the divine in our everyday life. A long, dull ride on a commuter train or bus can be transformed into an opportunity to pray for the life of God in each diverse face I see. Sorting laundry or cooking for my family can be a time for me to hold my husband and children up to God. Watching the evening news or reading the newspaper can place me again in this global family, so troubled and so loved by God.
Dear Lord, help me today to see my flaws as potential, not as something
to despise. Help me to accept them and your love and to live today seeing
your face in all those I meet.
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