Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A Lesson in Perspective
I realize that often I weigh my life on an imaginary set of scales … on the one side is all that is good and restorative and life-giving; on the other side is all that is evil, painful, and broken. And my mental state depends on those scales coming out right. Too many bad things happen and the scales tip the wrong way. And in those moments I feel put upon, angry at the seeming injustice, wondering why God doesn’t throw more onto the “good” side to even things out a bit.
It strikes me that this mental picture is wrong. If it’s all about the scales, then I will never, ever catch up. I will forever doubt whether there is enough goodness in the world to even things out. I will perpetually be in need, waiting and wondering why things don’t seem to measure up fairly.
But what I have this completely wrong? What if grace is not something to add onto the scale, but instead the very air which surrounds the scale, the atoms that make up the scale, even the imagination that invents it? What if all the bad things that happen are not something to weigh out against the good, but simply one small blot in a universe of blessedness and love?
And what if it’s not a scale at all? What if I’m staring for all I’m worth at a crack and missing the point that the crack is but a tiny scar on a huge and lovely tree? A tree that for all the wailing in the world, will never, ever blow beyond the limits of the one who made the wind.