How being more holey can also be more whole

originally posted Aug 2013

We tend to think that something with holes is incomplete, less than perfect or damaged, right?  I mean, the underwear with holes get tossed, as do the socks.  If my pool has a hole, I have to patch it or it is useless.  If there is a hole in my heart, I am broken.  Or not.

Being full of holes can actually be a good thing too.  I have a tomato plant in a container.  It gets watered well by the sprinklers and I noticed that it was gaining and holding water.  It turned out I forgot to punch the holes out in the bottom.  The roots were starting to rot away because they were stuck in their own juices.  I also have a pasta strainer that doesn’t have very good holes on the bottom, so it doesn’t drain away the pasta liquid without a lot of help.  If it doesn’t drain right, the pasta gets all sticky and goopy and useless.  And of course, my neighbor would argue the holes in his t-shirt are perfect air conditioning.  There is a purpose behind being full of holes.

I once heard a story of a clay pot that was broken.  It was tossed to the side, useless as it no longer held water.  Until a windy day came.  And the light kept going out because of the wind.  They needed a wind ‘break’ that would not cover and extinguish the flame, while still letting the light out and air in.  The broken pot suddenly had purpose- very important purpose.  Its holes let the light out and the air in.

Much like my tomato pot, if I am not hole-y enough, I am sitting in my own juices getting all stinky and root rotted.  There is no room for fresh water to flow in and through.  There is no way to allow my insides to breathe.  I fester.  The holes are helpful.

Sometimes I hear people talk about the day they will be better Christians.  But first they have to read the Bible more or start going to church they say.  The truth is, that would be depending on us.  There would be no room for the Spirit and gift of salvation to move through us and in us.  We would be doing it alone and if that is the case, we will only get root rot.

We need to open up to our holes.  God still has purpose for us with those holes.  That is what they talk about when they say salvation by faith, not works.  We cannot open our own holes, life does that, sin does that.  But we can embrace the holes first, and let God move through them, like fresh water, bringing nutrients and flushing away the nasty stuff.  That tomato plant isn’t doing anything different but the fruit of it is affected by allowing the holes to do their job too.  Then it can produce fruit as a by product.  Our salvation is the same.  It is not in our control, but when it is gifted to us, when we need it because we are full of holes, it becomes this amazing gift that frees us to do what we are supposed to do.  Just be us, and grow fruit by being us.

Don’t think you have to get to church first, or pray more, or read the Bible more.  Not that those aren’t important, they are.  But they are not what gets you right with God.  God is.  You just have to sit back and be hole-y.  In that, you will be made whole and holy.


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