What I Learned From Persian Rugs

We are broken and need a Savior, but in that brokenness, we can bring glory to God.

What I Learned From Persian Rugs

Brokenness has become a popular topic in more recent years. In the past, it was the dark secret behind closed doors. The secret sins or weaknesses we wanted no one to know about. But in an age of social connectivity and over-sharing, we are increasingly accustomed to "airing out dirty laundry" on a global stage. No one hardly bats an eye when some self-revelatory and maudlin post comes up in a feed practically screaming for attention.

Being open with our brokenness is a positive development that may suffer from over-saturation; however, just because something is misused or abused doesn't make it untrue. It is still good to admit our brokenness and to realize our shortcomings. It is in the awareness of our brokenness that we realize our need for a Savior.

I just finished listening to a book today that was recommended to me by Ezra. Everything Sad Is Untrue (A True Story) is an immigrant's memoir written by an Iranian by the name of Daniel Nayeri. It chronicles his child-like recollections of Iran, fleeing when his mother became a Christian and adapting to a life in Oklahoma. It is poignant, sad, funny and deeply introspective. He weaves much of the Persian culture of storytelling throughout the narrative of his life as a young boy. In it, he describes the way hand-knotted Persian rugs are made.

According to Nayeri, each artisan takes special care to knot one flawed knot somewhere in the rug, a Persian flaw, to avoid perfection. The reason is that perfection belongs to God alone and less they set themselves or their artistry to be like God, they weave a purposeful flaw into their masterpiece. A reminder of brokenness, a reminder that we fall short of God.

We do not manufacture a "Persian flaw" into our lives. We were born with it. The hate and malice, deceit and lust, selfishness and violence come up from a carnal spring within each of us. Instead of a hidden flaw buried within a tapestry, we are living embodiments of damaged goods. A broken and depraved image of what once was God's.

Like Paul said, we don't have to sin to show the grace of God. We don't need to purposefully make ourselves vile to show the perfection of God. He stands alone, but our brokenness, our flaw(s) should drive us to Him.

I am thankful for brokenness for its ability to show me my need for a Savior, but I am more thankful for a Savior, who brings wholeness, healing and life. We are broken people, but we don't need to stay in that damaged and dejected place. Christ knows exactly where our flaws are, nothing is hidden from Him and in His perfection, he offers us a chance to be whole.