Song of the month-Nichole Nordeman- Lay it down
Recently I jabbed myself in the nose while I slept…Or shall I say as I awoke, cause it’s hard to sleep when someone’s jabbing you in the nose. What made it worse was, it was the morning of my 17th wedding anniversary. We had a fabulous day planned. Sight seeing, meeting new people, having lunch at a fancy-schmancy restaurant in Big Sur, meeting new people…meeting new people…
I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who likes perfection. It’s probably my 1950’s daddy issues. All 1950’s dads loved to wag their do-it-yourself fingers at their offspring and say,
If you’re not going to do your best, don’t do it at all. (insert 1950’s-dad baritone here)
Well, I sure did my best on this one…blood was everywhere. Tissues were flying like red kites across our hotel room and it didn’t take a mirror to tell me there was going to be no hiding my perfect imperfection today.
… but I tried. You bet I tried…and tried…and tried. Thirty minutes of doing my best, showed me I should have, done nothing AT ALL! Now, the size of my already healthy Arab nose, combined with my morning jabbing activities and way too much coverup, left me looking like the missing link between Big Nose Kate and the Wicked Witch of the South.
Why do we put make up on face wounds ladies???? Or Large zits? Really. Is it so everyone knows, that we know, we got something wrong? Perhaps then they’ll feel bad and look away and not ask, “ohhhh what happened?” Right? Or are we just fooling ourselves, think we’re actually making things better? Ya, well the amount of people who suddenly-grew cross eyed as they stared at my perfectly jabbed-up-coverd-up nose that day tripled after my make-up job. Now they were just trying to figure out what Exactly was wrong with me. It was obvious something… was indeed…wrong…but what…was it???
Perfection…we are obsessed with it. Especially in our Western Christian Culture. Our society’s ideals have slowly leaked into our daily religion and like a venomous snake its poison will bleed into every aspect of our spiritual/physical life if we don’t cut off its puffy head.
Perfection people…It’s not going to happen. We’re kidding ourselves and we only look more like freaks when we put cover up on our obvious wounds. Or worse, pretend they aren’t there and distract ourselves with pointing at everyone else’s wounds and ugly bumpies.
Or how about this, you ever been with someone who was overly concerned about their outward appearance? Perhaps they were even considered beautiful, yet they saw only flaws in their perfection? Hips too big, bra size too small, skin too white, hair too dull. We all have. WE have all been that person who at some point is overly concerned about the externals, or perhaps the internals.
Right now I feel a bit rebellious about perfection. I just might wear my Pj’s everywhere for the next month. Whose standard are we measuring perfection by anyway? In Africa I’d be too skinny…my boney arms useless for heavy tasks. Perhaps it was my nose experience or maybe it started before that. But as I stared into that unkind mirror the following morning, a lush, dark, scab forming over my STRONG nose, this scripture came to me. A sermon to my soul….and I set my make up down.
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Perfection…it hit me. Paul learned contentment how? Did the chief of sinners learn the true art of perfection? No, Paul went to hell and back a few times over, and then and only then did he realize none of the temporal things he was living for really mattered. Paul, like Job, learned contentment when everything was lost to him, even his skin.
When everything is lost what is left to lose? How about the one thing that matters most… our faith in a loving God…..Paul still had that. Job, after it all, still had that…Me, my nose and all…I still have that. Faith in a God of love.
If I can manage to get to the end of my life, scars, losses, failures, trials, yet hold onto a love and faith in a good God, let him speak to me in those black moments, let his grace wash over my ungraciousness…I got it. Perfect Peace. Peace no matter the outward, peace no matter the inward struggles. Now that lesson’s worth a scar or two to me.
Cause God is after all NOT a 1950’s dad. His do it yourself slogan is, “It is finished” and that’s where I get to begin each day.