There is snow on the ground outside. Schools are closed, and in a “when pigs fly” moment of amazing fortune, the Nike WHQ is closed. So I’m home.
Both girls are snuggled up next to me watching Sesame Street. I have a hot cup of coffee on the table in front of me. Life is perfect at this moment.
Thirty minutes ago, however, was a different story.
Avery, our oldest, wakes up like her dad. She pops out of bed. Wide awake. Ready to go. So when she woke up this morning, the first thing she wanted to do was to make a card for her mom. So precious. She thought it was her birthday, and was so confused as to why we didn’t’ have cake in the house for mom’s birthday.
I was sitting on the couch, reading my bible when I heard her call for help. I walked in, asking her what was wrong.
“I want to draw a heart on my card for mommy, but I don’t know how. Will you show me?”
Of course I will Avery. I’d love to. I drew a heart on a piece of paper, and told her, “this is how it looks, just copy this shape.”
I went back to my bible reading, and a couple of minutes later, heard intense crying coming from her room.
I walked in to see a half dozen sheets of paper, red shapes all over them, littering the floor around her art table. She was sitting at the table with a marker in one hadn, her head in her other hand, weeping.
“Avery, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
“I tried to make a heart for mommy, but I want it to be perfect, and I just can’t do it. I want it to be a perfect shape for her and I want her to like my card.”
So much to learn about Jesus in those tears.
How often am I like that? How often do I stress about getting everything for Jesus just right, not even realizing that at the end of the day, I think what Jesus wants is our attention and effort, not our perfection. The fact that we care enough to want to give Jesus our best is indication that we’re on to something.
I explained to Avery that her mom would absolutely love the fact that she was trying so hard, and that no matter what shape made its way onto the paper, her mom would think it was beautiful. She asked me to help her draw a heart, so I put my hand around her little one, helped her draw a card, and here we are now, card finished, on the couch watching Sesame Street.
Remember, Jesus doesn’t demand your perfection. Jesus doesn’t say to you, “if it’s perfect, I’ll take it.” Jesus looks at us like a mother looks at a card drawn by her daughter, scribbles and all, and sees it as beautiful. The beauty is in the effort, not the outcome.