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Perfectly Imperfect: Seeing Ourselves For What We Truly Are

January 28, 2014

we are the poetry of God

I have another confession to make.

This must be a good week for confessions. I am full of them. Here it goes:

We have neglected our six year old. Neglected! We are terrible, horrible parents.

Do we feed him?! Of course we feed him. Three squares a day plus all the yogurt and Wheat Thins he can eat. We even put treats in his lunch box. I let him have chocolate at least once a day, and if he’s hungry at bedtime, I make him a plate of peanut butter and crackers. Mostly, he just drinks milk.

But really he’s neglected. It’s such a shame.

He has a clean set of clothes to wear every day. He attends school, one that we actually pay for, and the people there are kind, and good, and love him. He is in an environment that challenges him, and nurtures his gifts.

But he’s still neglected.

He spends time outdoors. He runs and plays a portion of every day. His imagination is cultivated through free-play and organized activities. He’s encouraged to try new things, and he’s challenged with a variety of tasks. He is learning time-management, and self-sufficiency. He knows how to clean his room, fold socks, and empty the dishwasher. We even taught him to ride a bike. A brand-new one that we bought him for Christmas.

But he’s still neglected. Shamefully neglected. Do you want to know why? Brace yourselves:

He’s not enrolled in sports! Never has been!

Isn’t it awful?! What kind of parents are we?! He is nearly seven years old and he’s never played team soccer! Or baseball! Or even competitive swimming!

It’s downright contemptible. Despicable! Horrifying! 

Isn’t it? You mean, it’s not?!

Seriously….It all sounds so silly to write, but really, it’s what we do to ourselves every day. We zero in on the one thing we aren’t doing, forgetting all the others we are doing, and doing well.

For every organically-grown, home-cooked meal, we beat ourselves up for that one desperate trip to McDonalds.

For all the quality time we spend, we regret the few minutes of TV (and blessed peace) before bed.

For the eighteen times we could have yelled, but didn’t, we ruminate on the one time we lost it. (Like just now, when I yelled at my computer, and now I’m agonizing over how I’m just teaching them my lack-of-anger-management habits.)

Tunnel vision. A self-centered, myopic tunnel vision.

We forget to be mindful of the season we are in, and this season is a busy one. They all are.

Is it going to keep him out of Stanford?

I doubt it.

The Ketchup-Is-A-Vegetable meals every once in a while are not going to spontaneously cause them diabetes.

The “I’m too tired to breathe” nights when they kind of needed a bath, but we swabbed them down with baby wipes instead are not going to get us written up in the Parenting Hall of Shame.

The list goes on. You have your list. You know you do. And I have mine.

The truth is, we aren’t perfect. God didn’t make us to be perfect. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Him. If we were perfect, our children wouldn’t see how much we need Him, and realize how much they need Him themselves.

We are precisely how He made us to be. Flawed. Imperfect. Broken.

A perfect, hand-painted vase is a thing of beauty, to be sure.

But a mosaic from that same vase is extraordinary.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 NIV

We are His hand-crafted, perfectly-planned workmanship. Poiēma. Poetry.

If God had a Pinterest board, your perfectly-imperfect picture would be on it.

Stop looking at yourself through The Inner You Stink’s eyes, and look instead through His.

May grace and peace be yours in abundance today,


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