Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Perfect among mornings

Kino awakened in the near dark. The stars still shone and the day had drawn only a pale wash of light in the lower sky to the east ... Kino heard the little splash of morning waves on the beach. It was very good ... Now Kino got up and wrapped his blanket about his head and nose and shoulders. He slipped his feet into his sandals and went outside to watch the dawn. Outside the door he squatted down and gathered the blanket ends about his knees. He saw the specks of Gulf clouds flame high in the air ... The dawn came quickly now, a wash, a glow, a lightness, and then an explosion of fire as the sun arose out of the Gulf. Kino looked down to cover his eyes from the glare ... It was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings. - John Steinbeck, The Pearl (emphasis mine)

There are experiences in our lives in which we get a taste of heaven. They are brief episodes in which an ephemeral aroma of the after-life fills our nostrils. These moments can be momentous occasions or mundane occurrences. But they are all a chance to savour our Saviour.

We realize that in their seeming perfection, they are not perfect. Like Kino's morning they are ordinary mornings "like other mornings", and yet they are mornings that are "perfect among mornings". We taste the perfectly grilled porterhouse and in the moment of revelry realize that it doesn't get any better, but, it could get better. The flawless sunset is at the same time impeccable and imperfect. The superlative son or defectless daughter in an instant is also a heinous sinner in need of saving.

When these immaculate interludes occur, they can direct our mind and affections to a few things. Their toying with perfection can remind us of the only true Perfection in the universe and beyond; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In their idealness we can imagine the infinite blessings that we will inherit if we are His people. And when the perfection of the episode is seen to also be a moment that is stained, soiled, and sullied by the sin in us and the sin in this world, we can reflect in our hearts that a Saviour has restored us to Himself and will one day restore all things so that the perfection is not mixed with impurities but will be entirely and completely whole and holy.

That perfect day will be perfectly perfect, not just a day like other days and yet perfect among days.

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