Perfection? Is there really such a thing?
A couple of weeks ago, my family and some friends went to a very nice restaurant to celebrate the holidays, as well as my 27th wedding anniversary. When I say it was a nice restaurant, I mean it was one of those places where the waiters are dressed in formal attire (nobody in hairnets here), speak in complete sentences (rather than "what'll ya' have?"), and synchronized the delivery of the food to the table (looking like the Whos in Whoville delivering the roast beast to Cindy Lou Who). Quite frankly, I felt as out of place as a Keebler Elf in the NBA. It certainly was not a place for an Average Joe.
As the evening progressed, I kept noticing that the young lady waiting our table kept asking the strangest question. After each time she brought something new to the table, she would ask, "Is everything perfect?" I couldn't help but wonder, "is there such a thing?"
On first brush, my immediate answer to her would have to be NO. Proverbs 37:25 says that the righteous will never have to beg for bread, and we've had to beg this waiter for it all night...therefore, either we're not righteous or she hasn't read Proverbs.
And in a more serious viewpoint and a larger scope, there are young men in harm's way defending our freedom in the middle east tonight...that's not perfect. There are children in our city who will go to bed hungry tonight...that's not perfect. There are elderly people who suffer from abject loneliness tonight...that's not perfect. There are people who live in fear for their lives due to living conditions we would find unacceptable...that's not perfect.
So, is everything perfect? No.
But the good news is that God allows us glimpses of His perfection. A healthy newborn, a wondrously colored sunset, an unexpected kindness...all of these give us a glimpse of a God who is kind, benevolent, gracious, and merciful.
My latest glimpse, however, came on Christmas Day. My family retired the night before hearing rumors that it could possibly be a white Christmas. Now, mind you, in our hometown there had not been a white Christmas in forty-one years. So, until we actually saw some white stuff, the rumor of snow was merely that...a rumor.
However, we awakened the next morning to a scene that no artist could duplicate. The view off our porch was a Norman Rockwell painting of snowy landscapes and children playing. It wasn't just Christmas...it was a White Christmas. As we opened gifts, we watched the snow fall. Our family ventured out in the snow to play and build a snowman. We ate breakfast together, and then dinner together as well. A family of four who are all as different as the snowflakes piled on our porch, played, shared, laughed, ate, and rejoiced together.
To me, there is no greater glimpse of heaven than this...beautiful scenery, joyous celebration, gratitude, and a family that is truly together.
As we sat down for our evening meal, my son was asked to lead us in prayer. For those of you who know him, you know that he is not a shy boy of few words. He talks constantly. However, when he talks to God, his economy of speech is a stark contrast to his normal conversation. He usually says things like, "Thank you God for everything and bless the whole world, Amen."
But on this day, he gave us a new wrinkle..."Thank you God for everything and bless the whole world...and thank you for a perfect day. Amen."
Perfect? Yes, this time the word applied. From the unexpected to the joyous, God had given us a glimpse of Himself throughout our day. And yes, it was perfect!