First chance, I grab pen and paper and fix down the words that hang like masterpieces in my brain.
This fixing destroys them, or, rather, it unveils them. What I imagined as a Renoir is nothing more than a child’s cartoon drawing. “What happened?” I wonder. “Did I remember it wrong? Was it not really that beautiful to begin with?”
I am not alone in this, not as a writer, nor even as a person. We all long for perfection. We plan perfect dinners, evenings, vacations, outfits. Those are small imaginings. Bigger are our dreams of ideal families, marriages, lives, homes.
This fascinates me. Why do we have this obsession with perfection when we have never, not ever, experienced it?
And isn’t it ironic that though we long for perfection, our very natures seem bent to ruin any good we do encounter?
A few days ago I bought myself a new MudLOVE necklace (http://www.mudlove.com/index.htm). It says “Redeemed.” I picked this one over others that read “Blessed,” “Believe,” “Hope.” I picked it even over the “Set Free” necklace, which I bought last year but then gave away to a young man in Africa this past summer.
MudLOVE does not have a necklace that reads “Perfect” or even “Perfected.”
That’s not surprising. Few of us are that egotistical, at least outwardly.
Perfection implies there is no need for any kind of change, no need for redemption. If something is perfect, it simply is. There are no marks of fixed flaws, no evidence of past issues.
Yet Christ told us to “be perfect, even as the Heavenly Father is perfect.” (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5:48&version=ESV)
Impossible—which was pretty much the point.
Which brings me back to redemption.
I look at my reference tools and find the definition of “redemption” that fits the Biblical idea of the word: “the buying back of something.” But when I switch to the thesaurus, it’s the synonyms that catch my attention: “recovery, renovation, reclamation (I like that one), restoration, revitalization.”
Yes, I think. This is what I do with my writing. I tinker, trying to reclaim a bit of the perfection the words seemed to have when they floated through my head.
But our perfection is more than a puff of smoke in our Creator’s mind. There once was perfection, when our actuality matched His design. Now, however, there can be no more perfection. We’ve been marred. So there must be “the buying back,” accomplished by the unmarred Christ, whose Perfection stepped in for us. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+10:14&version=ESV)
So the positional perfection, the positional redemption has been accomplished. But what about all the synonyms? I don’t continually feel or act restored, recovered, revitalized.
I look at my necklace again. “redeemed.” There is a period after the word.
Bought back—past tense, completed? Yes.
Still being revitalized, reclaimed, restored?
Redeemed. AND Redeemed…