On the wall in my bedroom are four cardboard “posters” each with a different icon of faith: fire to remind me of sanctification, branches to remind me that I am the salt of the earth, water to remind me of purification and a deer to remind me that my soul should be longing for God. I created them myself using an image transfer technique involving mod podge, a laser printed image and a bit of elbow grease and water. The problem is that it didn’t turn out how I envisioned it. You see, the cardboard started absorbing the water and in turn warped. My perfectly straight and solid black icons had become a sort of distorted shadow of themselves.
At first, I was going to trash them. But then I thought through their purpose in the first place: icons of my faith.
You see faith is never a pristine, straight lined thing. I wish it were – that God himself spoke audibly from heaven and we would have a complete, black & white understanding of what He expected of us and the purpose for all the experiences we have in life. But then again, that would diminish the need for faith.
No faith thrives in the tension that exists between our broken, fragile understanding of who God is, what He has done and what He expects us to do. Faith is never easy and most certainly never straight forward.
When Christ called the disciples, He didn’t lay the entire plan out in front of them. They didn’t know He was going to die in the end (and be resurrected). They only knew that He spoke with such authority and conviction, they had no choice but to follow Him. Absorb as much as they possibly could, so that they too might have the same fire in their eyes, convictions in their hearts, and a relationship with God that moved Him from distant Creator to loving Father.
So my posters are going to stay on the wall in their imperfect, unmatched state. The cardboard warped. The ink not quiet transferred write. The verses next to them a little difficult to see. Because in the end, I understand their purpose.