Monday, September 7, 2009



  • Function: noun
  • Date: 14th century

1. way somebody or something looks:

2. outward aspect

3. performance or exhibition in public:

Appearances can be deceiving. By all outward appearances this door is solid wood. Only a closer inspection reveals places where the wood is rotten.

So is the door solid or rotten? I really like for things to be one or the other, but in reality, the door is both.

When I was preparing for ordination this last time (there have been others, but that is a longer story), someone asked me to talk about the image or metaphor of the church to which I am most drawn. The first to leap to mind was that of saint/sinner. Perhaps it is because I struggle with it the most. I want people to fit neatly into one category or the other, but truth be known, we are all both – all a mix of some things that are solid and some that are rotten. I have been surprised by the goodness of people I have written off as “sinner”, and I have been wounded by those whom I have wanted to be a “saint”.

There are a couple of people monitoring the rotten spots on this door. They check periodically to see if the rotten places are widening. The take preventative measures to hold the rot at bay. It helps if we have similar kinds of people in our lives – people who will be honest with us about how we are living our lives; people with whom we can share the rotten places.

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