In Pursuit of Imperfection



My kids and I have a fall tradition: when the wind sets the leaves fluttering, we go on a “leaf walk”, to bring the season’s outside brilliance, in. A ritual that we cherish, yet unfailingly convicts me each time we set out to revel in God’s golden-aubergine-crimson-leaved glory.

As a result of my (often infuriating) penchant for perfection, I prize the flawless fallen–the leaves unmarred by the elements and their delicate descent. I hunt them methodically, only the most beautiful making the cut…and thus I live the lie. 

The lie that began there in the shade of that Edenic tree; as the serpent hissingly convinced the first woman she was not perfect enough. The lie we women have been believing ever since.

But my children–thank God for my children and the way they minister to their mama—to them, it’s not a beauty contest. They simply delight in scampering down our street in the crisp Autumn air, dumping God’s crunchy creations into their bags by the handful, each one a treasure. And as I breathe in the sweet scene, they remind me, bringing me back to what matters. Thank God He doesn’t discriminate like I do; fallen foliage that I am…

The truth is, not one of us is perfect–marred by the Fall, we are. There in the garden we were fatally flawed…and on a tree He hung, shedding our sin; shedding our death by His own, that we might live.

Let it settle on you like so many fallen leaves: it was the Savior’s crimson flow, His sanctified shedding, that right redeemed us; washed us clean of our death-stench…

…And so, I’ve begun a new tradition, an addendum to our old—of purposely seeking out the flawed fallen to adorn our home. The tattered and torn, faded and holey. These are the treasures that testify of life lived–of mistakes made, and redemption reaped…things of battle-worn beauty.

But my children, indeed—thank God for those children, whose innocence revives my own—it’s for their sake that I’m fighting perfect: posting pictures despite my self-critical eye, because they time-stamp a moment, and memories are precious, however imperfect. Teaching my kids to clean our house even though they can’t possibly attain my standard–because fostering character in my young ones trumps a picture perfect home. Showing up to their events even if I’m not expertly done-up, because my being there is more important than looking the part. Oh sister, I’ve lived it, and learned–being messy ministers, drawing people in. Perfection only alienates. The serpent’s intent from the sinister beginning—that first crimson Fall.

Here’s to embracing fall’s fullness, my friends…may we live flawed, yet found; Christ-collected, Christ-resurrected.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

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