I’ve been struggling with my many imperfections lately and I know when it’s brought to the forefront of my attention it means I’m on the verge of taking another step forward in healing. But man, let me tell you, sometimes these steps are rough.
No one likes to made aware of things they do that annoy others. At least, I don’t like to hear about the things that I do that annoy others. 🙂 When I was on this trip to California this weekend I had the opportunity to go with one my best friends who is more like a sister to me. (We can annoy one another but still love each other in the end.) On one of my breaks in the conference I went with her to see the Santa Monica Pier and I wanted to have my picture taken with Zoltar (from the movie BIG). I got my picture but it was only a dollar to hear what he had to say and I couldn’t resist.
The great and mighty ZOLTAR
He had a lead in to who I was and he said something to the effect of, “I feel it wise to tell you it is better to say little than say much and then regret it.”
As I heard him say this I was thinking to myself, “Okay, God. You are funny! I hear you speaking through this mechanical machine.” What this machine said was true, I knew it and I knew it was something I needed to adhere to but it still didn’t feel good to be ‘called out’. My friend didn’t hold back. She laughed till the force of her amusement brought tears to her eyes.
I smiled, tried to laugh it off but now I was irritated. It was one thing for me to get the personal message but to have it verified and reinforced by gales of laughter was another. She wrote down the quote to remember and then later posted it on Facebook which only told me that she was apparently not the only one who has often felt that I ‘speak too many words’ at times.
Instinctively a part of me wanted to defend myself and leave my own snarky message and the other part of me wanted to rectify all the moments that I might have ruined because of the need to speak too much.
Instead of taking the message I’d originally received from God I put it aside and nursed a wounded ego. God wasn’t going to let it go. On our way home from California, on the plane my friend asked me a question that spurred me to ask her one in response with the intent of going deeper into the question but this didn’t go so well and ultimately I ended up saying more than I meant to or ever needed. I got it. I spoke too much.
I went back to the simple homily of the priest that morning as he discussed the Gospel:
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.
“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
He said this is tough because God is trying to get us to be like him, perfect. But it is not perfection as we have coined the term for our modern day. The definition of perfect in the biblical sense is to be complete, to be balanced and growing in our faith and spiritual maturity.
The Cathedral of Angles in Los Angeles (not your typical look for a Cathedral) and on my walk back to the hotel a message of HOPE
I apologized to my friend. I’ve come a long way in where I take my words and how I use them but I am obviously still in need of growth. How this is helping me heal is because I am working through receiving this lesson without it adding to a sense of ‘not being good enough’. Rather by acknowledging my imperfection I am improving upon how good I can be.