Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Confessions of an imperfect Christian

There are enough days, like today, to fill a book. It wouldn't be the most fascinating of books, but a book it would be. A day when I wake up and immediately dig my heels into the ground, so to speak, but it's more like my back into the mattress. Groggy, unmotivated, grumpy, that's how I greet the day. I frown at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. I sit down on the couch with my breakfast, open my Bible and try to focus, but everything's a blur.

Everywhere I read, I somehow see the same message: "You don't measure up." Not devoted enough, not passionate enough, not spiritual enough, not pure enough, not loving enough, not obedient enough, not interested enough in the Bible. These are my confessions, ones that only those in similar shoes can appreciate. I sit and listen to these voices, resounding accusations, and slump further into the couch. Is this God speaking to me, I wonder, or is it some other voice?

At work, a continual loop of irritating pop songs play all the day long. And while I hate to admit it, there are a very, very few of these songs that I actually like. One in particular. I don't listen to the radio much, so I'd never heard this song until it was played at work. Couldn't tell you who sings it until I googled it. To many, I imagine it's a cheesy song, but I can't get away from the words. Something deep inside me aches for them to be true, of me. Most women would melt to hear someone speak these words to them, let alone sing them. But this isn't the message most of us - woman or man - hear, from anyone.

I work with one of my closest friends, and she happens to like this song, too. As she's leaving work today, this song is playing, and she comments, "I think this is God's theme song for humankind." It's just a passing comment, and she sounds so sure of herself. I want to believe it, really, I do, and still I fight it. I stop the tears before they form in my eyes, but I don't stop the song from continuing to play in my head.

Just the way you are
Bruno Mars

Oh, her eyes, her eyes make the stars look like they're not shinin'
Her hair, her hair falls perfectly without her tryin'
She's so beautiful
And I tell her everyday

Yeah, I know, I know when I compliment her, she won't believe me
And it's so, it's so sad to think that she don't see what I see
But every time she asks me do I look okay?
I say

When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
'Cause you're amazing
Just the way you are

And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
'Cause girl, you're amazing
Just the way you are

What if this were God's song for us? Even for me? What stops me from believing? At what point can I fully believe the constancy of God's character - that, contrary to how I may feel about myself, God's love for me is as steady, sturdy, and unbending as a metal pipeline. And more. There are days when I think too little or too much of myself, but not him. I try to imagine embracing a love that is not in some way connected to my performance, and I confess, it's great in my imagination but really hard to hold onto in the daily living. So sad, for so many reasons. For my struggle is not with a harsh, unloving, demanding God, as so many of us seem so tragically to view him, but with myself, peering at God through a broken mirror and trying to accept what I cannot always see.

A perfect love, loving me just the way I am.


  1. oh my gosh. how did my heart get expressed through your pen (or keyboard)? wow. i had to hold back the tears even as i read this because i so identify. sigh. not much to say right now except thank you for writing your heart.

  2. Lauren... thanks to you, friend, for being so real. It's nice to know we're not alone in the struggle. I hope we can continue to learn how to simply receive and bask in this outrageous, unchanging love and grace.