We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. II Corinthians 4:7
Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack, a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in. That’s how the light gets in, that’s how the light gets in. From the poem by Leonard Cohen “Anthem”
In the past, I have discussed the idea of being perfect- rather, the impossibility of being perfect. We can relate to imperfect, because we are. All of us. However, the idea of being imperfect, like the crack in the Liberty Bell, becomes a symbol for us. It is a reminder that brokenness is an opportunity to be real and transparent. No one will ever try to mend that Liberty Bell crack. It reminds us that the broken can still be celebrated, and it stands as a symbol of our strength in imperfection. It is the opportunity to look for the healing that we all need in this broken and imperfect world.
Our American experience is imperfect. Yet, we have survived those failures, and we are committed to a better America. Without the recent pain we have endured, there would not be the attention to addressing and mending those failures.
I really liked the way that Leonard Cohen put it in his poem- the crack is how the light gets in. If we are not broken, we do not feel a need for anything beyond ourselves. What a tragedy to think that we are self-sufficient, in need of nothing outside of ourselves.
Paul said that we are like “fragile clay jars”, containing a great treasure. Unless that jar is broken, the treasure is not revealed. So, our imperfection is the opportunity to recognize the need for a power greater than ourselves. In the lexicon of the 12 Steps, that is the first step- the humility step, which allows us to get the help we need to solve the problems we cannot solve on our own.
For addicts, that is an addiction that has baffled and overcome them. For all of us, that is a problem of sin that we cannot solve on our own. Christians confess and believe that Jesus is the answer to that problem.
So, imperfection is our lot. But staying in the broken places is not. We learn from the pain, and we seek the remedies. Thankfully, we have a God who has provided all we need.
Prayer: Thank you for meeting us at the place of need. Jesus is the friend we need and count on, Amen.