When I was seven I discovered that I was not perfect.
I was doomed to go through life with a flaw.
I was just learning to write. I would create lengthy stories, inscribing them in immature letters for my teacher.
I thought it was a sign of my writing talent that the teacher constantly asked me to read the stories I had written to her. I never thought it was because she could not read them without my interpretation.
I never considered that my spelling rendered my teacher illiterate.
After I was diagnosed with an audio perception problem part of my therapy was to visit a speech therapist twice a week.
Her name was Adele. Adele had slightly graying hair and worked from her home.
She taught me to play word games. She would read the word. I would match the word with a picture. If I got it right, the puzzle could be flipped over to reveal a secret pattern. If I got it wrong, I failed.
I found this really frustrating. I failed often, or maybe once or twice, but it was a lot in my mind.
Perfect children did not need speech therapy and they excelled if they did go.
Why could I not do this? Why could I not be perfect?
I would get annoyed with myself and I would cry in frustration. One haunting day tears were making trails down my cheeks and Adele asked me why.
I told her I was crying because I was not perfect.
If I was Adele I think I may have laughed. I think I may have said, “Oh honey, no one is perfect!”
Instead, Adele told me it didn’t matter I wasn’t perfect.
She opened her mouth and let life tumble out.
Her heart told me that if I were perfect Jesus would have nothing to do.
That if I were perfect Jesus would not have had to die.
And Jesus died so I could be perfect.
She let me know that Jesus died for me, when I was not perfect, because he loved me, accepted me and cared for me as I was.
He loved the problems and the I-want-to-be-perfect-attitude and the little girl with tears speaking her fears.
I did not believe what Adele said for a long time but I remembered her words.
I knew then that she had not said them just to make me feel better; she had said them because they were beautiful, and true, and could set me free from my need to be perfect.
One day, I found them stumbling out my mouth to meet the wound of another broken person, to bandage up their imperfections with hope and truth.
And they can set you free too.
They can set you free from the need to always be the person you think that others want you to be. They can allow you to relax and just be who you are when you’re alone or with someone that you trust.
If you allow yourself to inhale the freedom that Christ offers when you realize that you don’t do perfect. And you don’t need to.
Because perfect is God’s department. And he’s got that covered.
By Wendy van Eyck, I Love DevotionalsLeave a Comment