by David Anderson Jun 18 2012

I once worked with a stone mason who was repairing a great fireplace, with the chimney stoned all the way from the mantle to the cathedral ceiling peak. He stood back and surveyed the stone work. “What makes this artwork, what makes it beautiful is not a bunch of same-size stones all perfectly lined up in rows. The beauty is in the way the mason works his way out of a ‘problem.’ He gets himself trapped in a corner, and there seems no way out. His symmetry is broken.  But he works around it, finds a new pattern to break him free. Those are the most beautiful stretches of stonework.”


That perfection-in-imperfection reminds me of the Navajo rug. I’m told there is always an imperfection deliberately woven into the corner of the rug. It looks perfect—then there’s this “mistake.” Except it’s intentionally put there.
Why? The Navajo say it’s “where the Spirit moves in and out of the rug.” That’s hard for us to understand. God’s Spirit moves in and out of imperfection? a “mistake”? We’ve spent our whole life trying to get rid of all imperfection. If we’re not there yet, surely God is!


Tough times always make a “mess” of our lives. The beautiful pattern you were just about to finish is “ruined.” When you’re conditioned to manage everything, that’s how it seems. The career pattern is not going to be perfect. The lifestyle design is flawed. The house will never be renovated to match the perfect image in your mind. That’s when it’s time to remember the Navajo rug.


God cannot weave in and out of our lives when we have them all buttoned up tight, sleek, polished to cold perfection. There’s no room for God—no need!


We may not have the spiritual courage to weave those mistakes deliberately, but at least we can accept them as a gift when the fabric of our lives is inevitably torn.

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