perfection vs. beauty

So ever since I’ve been in Galveston, I’ve been searching for the perfect palm tree to get a shot of. No dice. Being from South Carolina, I have an affinity for palm trees, and so I’ve been a little frustrated.

Today I was walking though a park full of palms and I knew I’d find the perfect one. I didn’t. They all looked like they’ve had a rough life. Then I realized…they have.

We’re not vacationing here on the days when those trees are fighting for survival. Hurricanes, floods, constant battering from coastal winds…maybe the beauty of these trees is that they’re still hanging in there…more than that, they’re still providing shade from the hot sun.

In fact, maybe during this sabbatical I’m being reminded that there is a great difference between something being beautiful and something being perfect.

Maybe there’s a difference between life being beautiful and life being perfect.

Maybe the real beauty of these trees is that they’re still standing, still pushing upward, still soaking in every ray of light possible, and serving their created purpose. If that’s true, it’s great news for all of us.

Today I found my sabbatical church…a sanctuary full of couches, chairs, pews; worshiping with homeless people, wealthy people, young people and old people; one or two who were close to picture perfect, and then the rest of us who aren’t so much; but all of us still standing, pushing upward, soaking in every ray of Light possible; gathered around the Table as a family that testifies to the reality that true beauty and significance is found in no other place than our being God’s beloved.

It’s Palm Sunday. As we wave those palm branches, may we be reminded of the difference between perfection and significance, flawlessness and beauty. And by the grace of God, may we stay standing, keep pushing upward, and soak in every ray of Light that we encounter.