dropHaving lived in Southern California I gained some experience with earth-moving events. Temblors. Earthquakes.

I find it curious what seismic scientists decided to call those places on the earth’s crust that aren’t too well put together. These are the meeting places for tectonic plates to grind on one another. They are fractures. They are cracks on the surface of a beautiful sphere. They called them faults. For all it’s many wonders, the earth is cracked. She has faults. She has episodes from time to time. She buckles, and heaves, and convulses in a very public way and her issue is not only her own. The ripples affect everyone in her sphere of influence. The experience and it’s results are alarming,…sometimes catastrophic.

This flawed earth upon which we live is populated with beings much like her. We are beautiful and wondrous. We are uniquely possessed of powers and intricate function. But we also have our faults. We too are cracked in one way or another. We too, as we live together here, are often—both within and without—apt to run up against the obstacles of others like us. The longer I have lived the more convinced I have become that no one of us is in any kind of position to get self-righteous. We are dealing with conditions that are common to all of us. For if we do not possess that particular fault, we most certainly have our own.

I submit then that we ready ourselves to give up a lot of grace. To throw around a lot of mercy. To extend patience till it hurts, expend for others like irresponsible spendthrifts, and serve the most cracked among us as those deserving the same respect and dignity we’d like to receive. To love without finding fault as we have been so loved by the one who made us. We keep needing help to remember to keep doing this. And perhaps we need the most grace and patience of all for the ones who seem totally disinterested and uncooperative in joining us in this mutually beneficial endeavor. With the gaining of a little clarity and perspective I might discover, to my dismay, that it was me who had been the uncooperative one.

We don’t celebrate the faults. We’re not happy about them. We’d like to have them fixed. But if most of us looked critically at our own issues first, we might likely take more humility to the evaluation of the issues of others. As Donald Miller has pointed out, there is very little to be gained wondering what’s wrong with those other people, until first we consider what’s wrong with that person in the mirror.



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