Today we had a video sermon by Dr Arvid Straub talking about the Spirituality of Imperfection. It was inspired by the Japanese teaching of wabi-sabi. Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s about embracing the simple, the slow, and the uncluttered. Wabi-sabi is all about small. locally owned stores; aged wood furniture; glass and paper instead of plastic. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use bestow. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.
We are imperfect creatures and we make mistakes. These mistakes aren’t failure, they aren’t representative of our fall from grace, they just who we are. If good were one color and bad were another color, we would all be streaked.
The early Christians started a teaching that nature was perfect and humans were flawed. Humans were apart from nature because of Original Sin. However, Dr. Straub teaches that nothing in nature is perfect, and that is lovely. We have (at least some of us have) an idea in our heads of perfection and we create suffering in ourselves as we fail to live up to that standard. If nothing less than perfect is tolerated, then we will be perpetually unhappy.
Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. She speaks in terms of worthy human beings. The tragedy in life is that it is difficult to connect with people unless we show them our authentic selves. People who are tied up in the quest for perfection find it difficult to show their authentic self… because the authentic self is flawed. People bound to seek perfection, well, they are actually busy hiding their authentic self. People who live in joy, compassion, have the courage to be imperfect – they let go of who they think they should be.
Rejoice when you find a new vulnerability. Don’t fuss to much.
Our collective Joy today as a community is that Betty is out of the hospital and at home recovering.