Manifesto: Aim for Restoration

I believe that there is a reason for the pain in the world in which we live. You know the pain as well as I do-it cannot be missed. It is felt as longing, emptiness, injury, loss, betrayal, grief-the feeling that all is not as it should be.

I believe that everything was made whole and perfect, that the fullness we all strive for was once reality. But the picture was torn, the fabric of reality was bent and twisted by one choice and by every choice after. We live now in this torn and twisted version of the world we were made to know. Even our hearts feel the effect of this, seeking every love, every desire that might provide the wholeness we lack. Everything except the One that might mend. We hate him, even, in our twisted vision. We do not see the One who made us for wholeness, fullness and glory, but one whose goodness grates against the scar tissue of our broken souls and who continually asks us to relinquish our precious place as the one in control. We are desperate to remedy our pain, but unwilling to accept the antidote.

It is Grace, it is revelation, it is Abiding Love that steps in and shows us a glimpse of the world unbroken. Our souls must be unbent long enough that we can see and understand the truth that has been twisted. Once seen, is there any choice but to chase after that Truth? Once seen something awakens within us.

Hope.

The picture I have seen is of a world made new. The fabric of existence is not just mended but remade and whole. There will be no more sorrow, sickness, pain and death. Shalom. Peace, wholeness, fullness, rightness will exist where now there is war, brokenness, emptiness, and horrible wrong. And this is my purpose: armed with the hope set before me I am to aim for restoration. In all that I do, in every object I make, I must set forward a reflection of the reality I have seen. I must untwist, bandage and mend the world where I can to show glimpses of the completeness to come. It is a battle against the bentness of the world, but where I and others are successful, the ones who have not seen yet may at last see and the hope begin to spread.

As the kiln fires

I absolutely understand Moses asking the Lord to show him His Glory. When I sit before a kiln there is a great heat, a rumble, a bright light and I can picture: THIS IS GLORY

But oh how small this, compared with a Glory which shakes the earth, which causes the face that sees its back to radiate with terrible light. How small, to a Glory which in absence causes darkness at noon and a groaning of the earth. There is no night where the Glory lives!

This kiln before me eases the groaning of my soul for a brief time in the wee hour when the world is still enough that I can stand near and let the heat burn my skin, the rumble fill my ears, the light strike my eyes and my mind and, just for a moment, I grasp eternity. This is why I come back I think. I play at the vocation of the Creator, making things of dirt then visiting the sacred fire which I pretend to control, all so I can feel near to him,

Sometimes I am amazed at the grace which has brought me to sit right here.

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