Burning Perfect

Originally uploaded by lewing.
“The bush burned, was alive with flame and was not consumed. Why? Isn’t it because, as a bush, it was perfect? It was exactly as a bush is meant to be.” – L’ Engle.

Never entered my mind that to be exactly as one is meant to be could mean one could be on fire and not consumed. Moses walks by a bush and notices it is burning but not consumed. It wasn’t till after God had to tell him, that he noticed he was on “sacred ground.” (And if you’ve seen the animated version of this, God sounds a lot like Val Kilmer). Maybe sometimes perfection is right before our eyes and we don’t even recognize it.

It reminds me of what Lewis said about beauty. If we, as men, were to see a woman in all her true glory – the beauty that isn’t just physical – then we would surely fall and worship her. Ironic that so many men worship pornographic, bent versions that have nothing to do with beauty. It goes both ways, if you didn’t guess. Certainly Lewis would expect a similar response from women if they saw a man in all his perfection… and I am sure that looks nothing like People Magazine’s version.

L' Engle goes on to say: "I suppose the perfect isness of anything would be frightening without the hope of God...Man is: it matters to him; this is terrifying unless it matters to God, too, because this is the only possible reason we can matter to ourselves..."

So, if it is possible to be exactly as I am, as you are, meant to be… well, doesn’t that mean that we too would be aflame and not consumed? What is the source of this fire then? Where does one become as one was meant to be? Is it the fear of being consumed that keeps us from responding to Jesus’ words “you must become prefect, become as you were meant to be?”

Depending on who you ask there are as many answers. But as Rilke says, “At present you need to live the question... you will gradually find yourself experiencing the answer.”

And none of this as anything to do with becoming holier than the next guy… simply has to do with living in your skin… the stuff that is deeper than the flesh on your bones…