I remember a time when I would discard a batch of meringues that were slightly cream and remake them insisting they be ‘Persil’ white. When my neighbour discovered what I did she assured me that cream coloured meringues would be perfectly acceptable in her household and she became the grateful recipient of my perfectionist addiction.
Ridiculous isn’t it. A mixture of pride and shame masquerading as wanting to do my best in everything I did.
Then one day while holidaying at Callala Beach, I walked along the beach at dawn, the sand washed clean by the evening tide. Not a footprint or paw print in sight, just a band of freshly deposited shells.
Maybe it was the beauty of the morning as the sun rose and sent soft rays across the waves as they unfurled on the shore, lighting them up like a thousand diamonds. Maybe it was being alone in all the glory of a new day dawning. I only know the question came to me, “Why do you think that beauty is found only in perfection?”
I was stunned. It was one of those "Oh yes" moments of illumination that come unbidden from time to time.
I think it was the beginning of my passion for finding beauty in unexpected places.
I’m not cured, just lapsed. I still like to do things to the best of my ability and feel disappointed when things don’t turned out the way I’d hoped but now it’s just a reminder that perfection isn’t within my grasp, its the domain of God.
At some level we are all broken human beings and just a little misshapen in one way or another. But we are all beautiful and wonderfully made, and more often than not our beauty shines brightest through the cracks and crevices of our lives. It’s our shared brokenness that makes us able to love each other.
In a world that hankers after the perfect body, the perfect image, the perfect children, home or holiday, it is wonderfully freeing to have the eyes to value the beauty in the brokenness in ourselves, in others and the world around us.