How I hate that word.
A little background.
When "The Hub" and I moved up to our new mountain home, it wasn't quite new. It definitely needed a little TLC. The house had stood empty for almost two years. Notice I said empty – not unoccupied. Nope, the three little mice – and about a thousand of their closest personal friends – had had quite a heyday on the property.
We found *remnants* of their occupation all over.
I learned three things about mice:
1. They are not particular about their bathroom habits.
2. They like to chew and scratch and gnaw.
3. They leave their mummified carcasses in the most disturbing places.
We had quite a time convincing them that the house was too small for them and us. We insisted, they complied.
Oh, I also learned that moths enjoy an empty house, too. And they lose their wings and body parts faster than I am losing brain cells. I just want to know how they got in???
But I digress.
When we moved in, there was definitely work to be done. New carpet, new paint, new tile, and a new kitchen.
We had done some remodeling on our *older* home down the hill – just to help the resale value of a 36-year old tract home. But, whenever something wasn't perfect, I was able to let it go – knowing that this wasn’t the "final place."
Not so up here.
Every change we make is permanent. This is THE house we're going to live in. So, the changes loom a little (a lot) more serious.
Well, let me just say this – though we have had very, very good craftsmen doing the work on our house, there are mistakes.
The work is flawed.
I find that I go into "Incessant Inspector" mode rather quickly…and easily.
"The Hub" says I'm negative.
I say I'm particular, with an eye for detail.
So, as I've made my rounds, checking out the finished product, I've asked myself these questions:
Why can't painters make a clean line on baseboard? Or ceilings? Or corners?
Why would you put the same tile so close to one just like it? How hard would it be to spin it to make it look like a different tile with a different design?
Why put so many plain tiles, or patterned tiles, so close together? Can't you mix it up?
Why do carpets have to have weird little bumps in them?
Why can't cabinets "take the stain" in an even pattern?
Don't get me wrong, the finished work is really good. And I have had some input throughout the ongoing process. However, one cannot stand over a contractor and tell him how to do his work every step of the way. (I'd love to – but "The Hub" did not allow me to do so…)
"The Hub" tries to be helpful with these endearing sentiments:
"At least it's done."
"It looks good to me."
“You can't do anything about it now."
"You want to do it yourself?" (Though he's being facetious, the thought has crossed my mind).
Here's the rub – we're not done yet.
So I have visions of mismatched granite, appliances that won't fit into their respective spaces, chipped sinks, leaky faucets, etc.
Now, I admit to being a perfectionist…(particular, eye for detail).
It really, really bugs me.
Do you know that I've actually *corrected* a few tile flaws with colored pencil???
Yes I have – reminiscent of my cigar store Indian escapade (here).
The word just keeps ruminating in my mind.
Dictionary definition: Blemished, damaged, or imperfect in some way. Containing a mistake, weakness, or fault.
Sharon's Acrostic Dictionary definition:
Yup, how I hate that word.
But, the other night I got to thinking. (It was all I could do as I lay sleepless, pondering the mismatched tile…)
I don't think I'm alone in my quest for perfection. Nor in my sorrow when it doesn't happen.
I wonder about God. I wonder how He feels. Here He created this perfect world, these perfect creatures, these perfect humans. It was all good…
Actually better than good – it was flawless.
I wonder how He felt when we messed it all up.
I can only imagine how His heart broke when we ruined His work. When He watched us make mistakes. When we painted outside of the lines. When we messed up the pattern. When the smooth path of obedience got bumpy. When our hearts became stained with sin.
I think He mourned…deeply.
God, the Ultimate Perfectionist, the Flawless Potter, looked at His sin-filled lumps of clay…and cried.
I'm convinced of it.
He understands the dismay, the discouragement of imperfection.
How could He bear it?
The Holy One feeling the pain of unholiness invade His work…
I began to see how foolish it was for me to be so focused on temporal imperfections. There are bigger things at stake here.
And then I thought of something else…
There is someone who comes before the throne of God every day and points to me and shouts his accusation:
Though You have every right to look at me and called me flawed, You do not. You did something miraculous to make me perfect in Your sight.
You sent Your Son.
And because of Him, I am no longer defined by my imperfections.
Evidently God has an acrostic dictionary, too. And He defines flawed this way:
(I like His definitions better than mine, by the way…)
Lord, thank You for the lessons I am learning in patience and acceptance. Thank You for teaching me that only You are holy and complete. Thank You for the gracious gift of Your righteousness, so that even though I am flawed, You see me as perfect. Thank You that the enemy does not define me. Thank You that the Story wasn't ruined in Eden – it just took a plot twist. Thank You that even then, before the beginning of the world, You had a perfect plan – a plan for restoration. Thank You for the promise of hope – that one day all will be perfect again – for we will live in Your light, and gaze on Your face.
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (Ephesians 2:10)
How do you think God looks at you?
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"