Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Can There be Perfectness in Imperfection?

First, I have to say that each day I wake up I wonder what I'm going to post on my blog that day.   I'm never sure, but more times than not I find something or something finds me (depends on how you look at it, I guess) that resonates with me or an idea that I would like to explore. 

This afternoon I saw an interesting post on facebook, "Do you agree, to love perfection is to hate life?"
I love thought-provoking statements; statements that don't automatically click with me, but ideas I have to mull over and discuss.

There was a time in my life that I felt hopeless because I didn't feel capable of achieving perfection, and I don't think I was enjoying the everyday moments so much because of that demand I had placed on myself.  I was falling so short that it wasn't even funny; I was in no way a perfectionist, but I thought I needed to be perfect.  Now I see the perfection thing in a different light.  I want to be better; to do a little better and hopefully by the end of my life, my puzzle will fall into place to form a beautiful picture.   And maybe even now, I am perfect for the situation I'm in and for the family I'm in and for the relationships and stranger-ships I'm in.

When I was in Seattle in September and attending one of Rob's College golf tournaments, I passed a crooked pine tree en route to Olympia.  As I saw that bent over tree (it was bent at a 90 degree angle much like a backwards number seven) I thought about how perfectly imperfect it was.  I wish I had gotten a photo of it, but with me being the sole driver and not having my camera even handy, I missed the opportunity.  But I did get a different photo while in Olympia; I'm not even sure I planned this outcome while I was taking a photo of the water, but in all of its eerieness I see a subtle perfection.  The dead branches that the birds are sitting on aren't nearly perfect; there are a few broken ones and missing ones.  Somehow in all of its imperfections, it appears perfect to me.

I remember a talk by Chieko Okasaki in which she described a needlepoint or a rug (I don't remember exactly which type of handmade media she was using as her example).  She showed how beautiful and how perfectly the front side of the needlepoint was; then she turned it around to reveal the backside.  It wasn't perfect; it wasn't smooth or with any type of order that was recognizable from the front, but even with all the imperfections underneath, the front side was beautiful and perfect. 

Maybe that's how life is; life is messy, and it's joyful, and it contains hard things as well as pleasant and wonderful situations.  With all of its turns and ups and downs, couldn't the final outcome be looked upon as perfect?   That's what I'm hoping as I continue each day to be true to who I am, and at the same time to be true to who God created me to be; while loving each perfect moment as well as the less perfect ones.  Part of the trick, I think, is in how I view it.


  1. Well said! I've been fighting for and against being perfect forever! Looking perfect, having the perfect house, the perfect family, the perfect meal, the perfect marriage, the perfect testimony. But imperfection is where beauty often lies. (like your picture) I noticed agencies are searching for models with unusual looks...you could say...imperfect. I've been a fighter against trying to be perfect too...rebelling at the idea that my house, body, and family (etc) have to be perfect.
    I think it is all about loving yourself and others 'in their imperfections'. I love someone MORE usually BECAUSE they aren't perfect. 'Perfect people'[no such thing...but you know what i mean] make me feel uncomfortable. I feel more comfotable in a messy house that a super spotless-well decorated home. I love people that are happy that they are 'different'....not what the world or church members think is the perfect way to be. I smile when someone dresses 'their own way'.
    life is messy, like you said, but it could be the creation of a great masterpiece as long as we don't destroy it in the building [messy]stages.

  2. Sylvia, I loved your comment! This discussion could go on for a while; I enjoy back & forth ideas.
    I also feel more at east around very down to earth people and in comfortable surroundings which aren't necessarily perfect (at least perfect in the usual definition). I know we are taught to strive for perfection and that is my ultimate goal, but for me it seems to flow more easily when I don't try and force it and just go about my life doing what i know to be right and following Christ.
    Now when I listen to talk or a lesson at Church I refuse to allow myself to feel guilty if I'm not doing it all; that guilt can cause depression and more of not even wanting to be there than it is helpful.
    I also love your comment about being careful to not destroy it in the messy (building) stages; those are the times that we need to hold on and learn from our messes.