This evening I skated round and round and round, meticulously doing my mohawk and 3-turn steps. I did a few pretty well, but was disappointed by the imperfections they contained. The tester passed me anyways and I almost felt bad, as if I didn't deserve to pass. She sent me off with a reminder that they don't have to be perfect and I'll have plenty of time to keep working on them in the next levels. While I'm not going to get bent out of shape about it, I like doing things perfect.
Last night, after class, I made a peach pie. As I sliced the peaches, I noticed they weren't as ripe and juicy as the first time I had made the pie. And upon filling it, I notices it was rather flat. I chucked it in the oven anyways and submitted it to our neighborhood's National Night Out bake off. I won! The pie was far from perfect, but sometimes Best if as good as Perfect.
With skating and pie baking in mind, I met up with my neighbors this evening for our party, and as we sat watching the police break up something at the park across the street, I was struck more and more about how imperfect we all are. AND ITS OK!!! I heard three sermons (yes, I know, I'm a nerd) this weekend, all proclaiming that GOD IS FOR IMPERFECT PEOPLE not against them. God is on our side...on my side, on your side. He is fighting for us and loves us.
What gets me about Jesus is that people didn't have to pretend around Him. The prostitutes were prostitutes, the tax collectors were tax collectors. Jesus was a party boy. He hung out with a crazy group of people! He went right up and hugged them. He went right into their homes. They didn't scurry around hiding their lives from Him. They didn't pretend to be something they weren't. They didn't clean up their act for him. They were just themselves. I think the church misses the mark on this one by a long shot. When people come to church, they feel they have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, say certain things. And, sadly, I think, if they were honest, a lot of church goers wouldn't want people coming in and messing up their comfortable services. Have you ever heard anyone say to the pastor, "hey, sorry I was a little late, I'm still a bit hung over from last night"? I think Jesus would be ok with this. Does He want us to live by His plan, well, yes, but first and foremost, He loves us, He already knows us, He wants us to be real with Him. So, two questions: how do people feel around you? Do they feel like they must pretend? Why? How can Christians and the church make people feel free to be themselves?