Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Perfect Imperfections

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

I am always amazed at how God can speak to us through the smallest things. Today, we went outside to play before it got too hot (which doesn’t take long here in South Carolina). The kids and I were in our PJ’s since we weren’t planning to leave the house! As soon as we reached the back door, Elyse took off her shoes and headed for the small inflatable pool. She stuck one foot in before I said, “No, Elyse, we’re not getting in the pool.” After telling her three times, I thought, well, I guess it doesn’t really matter if we get a little wet. She jumped in and within minutes Kieran had gone back into the house and returned with his swim trunks (PJ’s would not work for him)!

Next, Kieran found the water balloons and asked if we could play with them. I filled up a few, he threw them, and they exploded! We were having a great time. I started filling up a yellow balloon when I noticed a small hole in the bottom, so I put that one to the side and picked up another one. It also had a small hole at the bottom. I said to Kieran, “Sorry, Buddy, these all have holes in them.” He looked at the small stream of water coming out the bottom and said, “That’s great! Let me have that one!” I finished filling it with water and tied the top. For the next 10 minutes or so Kieran ran around the yard squirting things with the small stream of water flowing out of that little balloon. He loved it! While the other water balloons were fun, they only lasted a few seconds. This “broken” balloon lasted much longer and gave Kieran the opportunity to get us all quite wet.

Suddenly, I thought, “What a perfect imperfection!”

The thing that I thought made the balloon useless actually gave it a new, more entertaining purpose! Wow! Isn’t that just how God designed us in many ways? We all have things that to us seem like imperfections, mistakes maybe. God, however, doesn’t make mistakes. It is possible that we just haven’t figured out the real, more “entertaining” purpose of that imperfection. The balloon situation reminded me of a blog that I read last night. This blog is written by a sweet lady who I met at Bible study recently. She has a precious 1-year-old son named Derrick who was born with several heart defects. I spent a good part of last night reading through a detailed description of his heart, but there was one part of this description that stood out to me. This sweet baby boy was born without a left ventricle and he has a hole in between the right and left atria. According to his mom, normally this hole would be a bad thing, but because Derrick doesn’t have a left ventricle, this hole is necessary to allow blood to flow from one part of the heart to the other.

Again, I thought, “Wow, what a perfect imperfection!”

I was amazed to see the drawings of this heart and to see how different it was from a “normal” heart, yet with the help of an amazing God and a team of great doctors this little boy is walking (even running now) with this “perfectly imperfect” heart. Sure, God could have given him a heart like most people without problems, but, for some reason, in God’s perfect plan, He decided to give him a heart that would amaze doctors, require miracles, and build faith.

This story, of course, made me reflect on Kris’ heart issues. He, too, was born with CHD (congenital heart disease). We joke now that he is so loving because he has an extra big heart. He does have a big heart, bigger than most because his heart had to work so hard for the first five years of his life before his open heart surgery. A couple of years ago, Kris had to go through a series of heart test and during one test we found out that a blood vessel on the left side of his body which carries blood to the brain was much smaller than normal. However, the corresponding vein on the other side of his body was much larger than normal. The vein on his right side compensated for the one on the left side. This allows his brain to get the perfect amount of blood flow. Here is yet another example of a perfect imperfection.

For most of us, our “imperfections” are not life threatening or even life changing (i.e. birthmarks, bad hair, stretch marks). I look at our precious Elyse and can’t help but see the two scars on her neck. I could look at them as imperfections, but when I look at them I am reminded of how blessed we are that those lymph nodes were not cancerous. I am reminded of the amazing strength of a 1-year-old, the generosity of friends, and the comfort that only God can give us. Most of us have scars of one kind or another (physically, emotionally, or spiritually). Without God, these imperfections are imperfect and can control our lives. However, if we allow Him, He can make them “perfect imperfections”. While we often pray for Him to take away these imperfections, God may have bigger, better, and more “entertaining” purposes for them. Paul reflects on this in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

You can read more about Derrick and his miracle heart by visiting his
blog http://carolinacarters.blogspot.com/!

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

So true, Susan!! We are all broken and imperfect in some way. I'm so thankful God still loves me and all of us despite our imperfections!