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God of Small Wounds

Jesus is perfect. Without sin. Fully human, but fully divine. 


It’s a tough act to follow.  


This idea is the bedrock of our faith but also the greatest barrier to practicing it. We are called to follow Christ, but that call feels doomed from the start because we don’t have the “fully divine” part to help us out. At least that’s how I thought about it for most of my life. I imagined Jesus’s divinity as a vaccine, inoculating him against temptation. It’s an image that matches how we see him portrayed most often - always smiling, slightly glowing, and casually rocking that impossibly white robe. That aura of effortless serenity illustrates a Jesus free not only from sin, but also from frustration, angst, stress, anxiety, self-doubt, discouragement, or any of the emotions so many of us struggle with on a daily basis. 


So I’d like to propose a different view, one contrary to the “divinity vaccine” theory. Maybe Jesus’s divine nature didn’t operate on the front end, but on the back end. Instead of a shield against temptation, what if Christ’s divine nature were more like an artist’s finishing touch? Imagine an artist who, after hours or days with their nose inches away from the easel, steps back, their face and hands smeared with paint or clay or charcoal, and finds the one last adjustment to make so that the piece is perfect. Even though the piece itself achieves perfection, the artist gets dirty. The artist d