Early AM (Random) Thought: The soul at peace does not find fault in our humanness, but rather accepts our weaknesses, lifts us up to our potential, and forgives our mistakes because the soul at peace sees God through our cracks and sees himself in us …
What am I even talking about? It’s 4 am, the moon is an awe-inspiring sliver of white, and I am driving on the delivery route. I need more coffee maybe.
I run up to the house, and a picture pops in my mind of a bright, shiny young girl. The girl that was me for a short snippet of time ~ wearing designer clothes, driving a new BMW, had all the answers for everyone. I can’t see her eyes, though. Just a façade, really. I can’t get through. Bright, shiny lost girl chasing something real. Why can’t she catch up? Why won’t anything stick?
And then, she crashes. Not literally, of course. She crashes in a W hotel one day. Her friends there to pick up her pieces as she hides behind Gucci frames and admits to being a complete mess. And it’s liberating. Her friends knew it. She wasn’t fooling them. But she may have been fooling herself. Tears streaming, she completely becomes a puddle, and they love her more (not less) for it. The human connection is beautiful.
Back to the route. Another thought. This time, about things sticking. We have 2 rocking chairs on our front porch. When we bought them, we chose colors that reminded us of our favorite beach in Topsail Island, North Carolina. My husband and I went on our first vacation together there. We also found out we were pregnant with our Lulu on that trip, and brought her there for her first vacation the following year.
After a couple of years, the colors of the rockers started to fade a bit. My husband decided to spray the chairs again. They came out bright, shiny orange and teal, just like new. But the paint didn’t stick. It nearly slid right off just a few days later. Come to find out, he didn’t scuff up the chairs before spraying them with the new color. In order for the paint to adhere, the chairs need to be sanded and roughed up. Interesting. If you just spray the surface, bright and shiny, nothing sticks. Kind of like my younger self. All bright and shiny, searching for something real, and nothing would stick.
Sometimes God needs to rough up our edges, crack our shell, wear us out a bit I guess, and then we can connect for real. The cracks show His light and people are drawn to it. The ridges allow a place for others to grasp on to, and they stick.
It’s interesting, but I’ve pretty much always been drawn to imperfect things, asymmetrical things, worn out and weathered things. I went through a short period though, where that was not the case – that 20 something ‘know it all, must be perfect’ period. But before that, and certainly now, I have no desire for new designer clothes, but rather I like the things with rips and tears, clothes with a past, with a history, with a story. Same thing with people ~ the more frayed, the better.
If something or someone is too “perfect”, I feel a bit uncomfortable; even when I go into a home that is perfect, I am afraid my klutzy self will emerge, and I’ll spill my coffee or trip on something, break something, or somehow mess it up. Or my hair ~ I’ve gotten it done professionally, blown out straight, and it looks incredible. But I don’t feel like myself ~ my frizzy curls are a part of who I am, and one drop of humidity reminds the perfect haired girl she’s not fooling anyone anyway, so why even go there?
Funny, though, and kind of sad that any of us would want to put on the one-dimensional picture of perfection – why is our worth attached to that string? Why can’t we all run around frizzy and broken, scars out in the open?
We are ashamed of our true selves, perhaps. Shame goes way back – from that very first bite of the forbidden fruit, all of the sudden, Eve had to cover herself up in the garden. The snake knew that this one act would alter humanity, and so did God. I don’t believe He wanted us to feel shame, but He knew we would. Time and again in the Word, He offers us a way other than fear and shame.
Fear blocks us from being who we are ~ that’s just the devil’s way of blocking us from our pure potential. God uses us broken, He can’t stick to our manmade façade. If God can’t get in, can’t adhere, can’t use us, what are we here for? After all, the legacy most of us want to leave behind boils down to one word ~ love. Nobody really wants to leave a legacy of having the best shoe collection or the smoothest skin or the smallest waistline, right? And if this is our temporary home, love will be left behind in the details of our lives, in the actions we took, and in having used our time here on earth and our gifts to honor and glorify our creator, in service to others.