Monday, February 22, 2010

beautiful &limited

Addie drew this picture of her dad and mom a few days ago. Notice how we both have "Elmo" noses. If you didn't know me or my wife, and someone showed you this picture - telling you a 3 year old had drawn it - you probably wouldn't actually imagine we looked like this. Is it because my daughter is a horrible artist? Nope.

But my daughters ability to create with 2 simple crayons, doesn't match up to the reality seen with human eyes. Heck, even a 2 dimensional product of Kodak couldn't capture all that meeting my wife in person contains. But Addie was simply trying to capture as much as she was capable....how she sees mommy and daddy.

We are proud of her. We accept her token of love with a genuine and large smile. We hug her, and we find a magnet to display her artwork on the fridge.

But we do not look like this. :)

During the Lent season, we find ourselves contemplating, praying, and discussing our limits as humans. The fact that our bodies are weak, frail, fragile, and prone to sicknesses and ultimately death. But there are far more limitations than we are able to list in 40 days (itself a limitation...get it? :) ).

Included in these, is the limitation of containing God or even things of God fully in words or descriptions. Listening to Professor Mulholland, of Asbury Seminary on his lectures on the book of Revelation specifically.

In the book of Revelation especially, and several other places in scriptures where we find someone experiencing something of God, or a vision from God...and then trying to describe it to us. We're given pictures, word images, descriptive scenery that inspires either things like hope and beauty, or ugliness and destruction. These scenes can be compared to the artwork posted above. Like children attempting to capture the image of their parents with a single crayon - so too we attempt to describe a glimpse of God using our limited human resources.

But does it discourage my daughter to know that her picture and daddy don't exactly look very much the same? Not at all. She'd do it all over again, and will most likely over and over again throughout her childhood.

May our enthusiasm and desire to describe, worship, and illustrate our love for God in new ways, even conscious as we may be in our limited-ness...be of the same stream.

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