I am a master of disguise.
There is not a flaw that has bested me yet.
If you're a perfectionist like me, you notice that just about everything has a flaw or two (or eighty). Furniture, carpet, tile, cabinets, paint, clothing, collectibles, etc.
And flaws are my nemesis.
Armed with my arsenal of colored pencils, multi-colored Sharpie pens, various colors of wood putty, acrylic paint, a lead pencil, a black and a blue ballpoint pen – AND my *tools of the trade* – tweezers, scissors, glue, brushes, and two pairs of glasses – I am a Fixer Extraordinaire.
If something has a chip or a stain or a snag or a scratch – I am your woman.
Some of my best work has included:
The dented nose of a cigar store Indian – (paint, colored pencils, brush).
A ripped and unraveled patch of carpet – (glue, tweezers, scissors).
An area of missing stain on a cabinet – (wood putty, colored pencils, lead pencil).
Actually, you might enjoy this little story about my absolute finest moment.
Several years ago, the sons and Marty (the grandbeagle) were staying downstairs with my parents while they were renovating their upstairs apartment. Marty, The Beagle Who Cannot Be Trusted, was watched like an eagle.
However, Marty is also The Beagle Who Is Very Sneaky. And one night, while everyone was watching television, Marty was busy. Oh, it looked like he was just lying down in his little pen in the middle of the living room. (I know – I was there). But no, he was actually gnawing and nibbling away at my parents' carpet.
Yes, call him The Stealth Chewer.
Fortunately, my dad went to bed before the damage was discovered.
But when we saw Marty's carpet work, we were shocked. A decent-sized piece had been completely destroyed – right in the middle of the room!
Great, now what?
Well, I told the boys not to panic, we would figure it out.
So, step #1: Look under all the furniture to see which carpet would be the best color match, roughly the same nap, and the least likely to be noticed missing.
Step #2: Having determined that the best replacement candidate was underneath a very heavy coffee table, move said table.
Step #3: Using boxcutters – (oh, I should have mentioned that in my above-cited arsenal) – remove patch of carpet. Replace table.
Step #4: Place new patch into old hole and glue down. Evaluate. Uh, not good.
Step #5: Use various "tools" to work the edges into the surrounding nap. Push and pull and tamp down and pinch up. Over and over again. Not bad.
Except for the oh-so-obvious difference in the color. Wow, carpet really, really darkens over time. So, the three of us just stared at the carpet for the longest time.
(Mom was there too – but her *slightly-less-than-helpful* suggestions included putting a table or chair in the middle of the room or making sure that she was talking to Dad and pointing at the ceiling every time he entered).
What a dilemma.
Until Son #2 said this:
"You know how they use tea to make things look old? I wonder if soda would work…"
Which is how Step #6 happened: Pour cola on patch of carpet. Soak up excess with paper towel. Don't rinse and repeat.
I can't tell you how perfect the match was. How much the new patch blended in with the darker surroundings. How inspired this *fix* was.
How my dad never found out about it.
How Marty always seemed to prefer that particular area of the living room.
That old carpet has since been replaced – not because of our problem, mind you – and no one was the wiser. Except, I've always wondered if the installers were puzzled by how easily that one area of the carpet came up, and why it was so sticky! HA!
So, yes, flaws are my nemesis.
And that is why I found myself on my hands and knees in my parents' driveway a few days ago.
You see, the sons had a very important trade show to attend, and they needed to construct a booth for their company. My dad has every tool you can imagine in his workshop, so the project happened at his house.
Wood, screws, saws, hammer, nails, paint – the finished product was a work of art. Finished in the nick of time, just before the sons left at 3 AM for a long trip to Phoenix.
Later that morning, I went out to inspect the clean-up effort. Pretty good, but not up to the standards of my dad.
For one thing, there were black drips of paint on the garage floor and pink latex primer paint dripped all over the driveway.
So, I used a screwdriver to chip up the black paint. That went pretty well. But the pink primer was another story altogether.
You might be wondering why I didn't use paint thinner or turpentine.
Well, my parents have kind of a special driveway. Completely made up of little pebbles all cemented in. And it's old. So, besides the fact that there was no paint remover handy, I also didn't want to take the chance of wrecking the driveway with a harsh chemical.
That is why I labored with a screwdriver and a boxcutter to scrape and peel and strip up the pink primer paint.
Got most of it off.
But good is not good enough for my dad's standards.
So, I proceeded to hand-pencil every single pebble that had any pink residue left over. Fortunately, there were some black shiny pebbles, so I could use a Sharpie on them. At first I noticed that the pencil (or Sharpie) ended up looking a little too shiny. So, I perfected a technique of applying pencil or pen, and then rubbing with my finger. Repeat to give a more natural finish.
It took me a few hours.
And so, I had plenty of time to ponder.
I got to thinking about God.
About God and His very perfect world that He created. About God and how His very perfect world got all messed up.
He had to have looked on in dismay at all the drips and dribbles of sin that had spilled on His perfection.
It had to make Him feel frustrated, knowing that He had clean-up work to do.
Frustrated, yes, but His love propelled Him to do it.
I felt frustrated that I had clean-up work to do. It was disheartening to be left with the aftermath. But I also knew that I was the only one who could do it. And I did it because I love my boys.
God is the same.
No, God is better…
As I belabored over every single paint-stained pebble, I thought of how God works in me.
He inspects me closely, and sees even the tiniest remnants of sin.
He takes His time, inordinate amounts of time, to fix my mistakes and work on my flaws.
He scrapes away my false hypocrisy, and peels away my layers of selfishness, and strips away the sins that so easily trip me up.
And, even then, He is not finished.
For good is not good enough for my Heavenly Father's standards.
So, He painstakingly pencils in the empty spots with His righteousness. He covers my stains with His blood. He rubs my spirit with His finger, until I am made like new.
He works and toils and labors over me.
Because He loves me…
…and flaws are His nemesis.
But He has never met a flaw that has bested Him. For He died on a Cross for every flaw that ever did or ever will happen.
He possesses the ultimate tools in His arsenal to fix the mistakes, to redeem the flaws, to restore the blemished, to fill up the cracks, and to make it all right again – to make it all RIGHT again.
I was reminded of that while on my knees on a pebbled driveway a few days ago.
And it brought tears to my eyes.
God weaves His perfection in me.
"May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation--the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ--for this will bring much glory and praise to God." (Philippians 1:11, NLT)
"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption."
(1 Corinthians 1:30, NIV)
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV)
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, NIV)
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB)
What does God’s attention to detail mean to you?
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Michelle at HEAR IT ON SUNDAY, USE IT ON MONDAY
Hazel at TELL ME A TRUE STORY
Jen at UNITE
Darlene at TITUS 2SDAY
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Rachel at WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAYS
Shari at WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY
Gail at TGIF
Laura at FAITH FILLED FRIDAY
Mel at ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS
Wanda at THE FRIDAY FIVE
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
Patricia at STILL SATURDAY
Barbie at WEEKEND BREW
Janis at SUNDAY STILLNESS
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