But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I’d like to introduce you to my friend and social justice colleague, Nebu Kolenchery. Nebu and I have had the chance to share some wonderful conversations as we wade through the challenges of living our faith in the work of social justice. Nebu recently shared this reflection with me about a long ride on the metro. I am grateful for his wisdom and insights and his willingness to allow me to share this with you as well.
I like my apples bruised. My cherries with specks on them. I like my pears bumped and jostled just enough so that they get those delicious brown spots all over. Perfect fruit is overrated and, quite frankly, just doesn’t taste as good. A perfect apple with a wax coating gleaming under the glare of a lamp implies that aesthetic perfection is somehow a standard that has merit.
I like my humans bruised. My friends with specks on them. I like them bumped and jostled just enough so that they get those delicious brown spots all over. Perfect people are overrated and, quite frankly, just don’t taste as good. Imperfection leaves room to dream and grow and actively hope. Imperfection is a challenge, not to attain some boring standard of beige, but to discover and cultivate your own individual potential. Imperfection is an opportunity to fail and hone and create toward excellence, not perfection. Imperfection is that one gift we all share, that one true power that we are afraid of, and that journey that is easy to shy away from. Scrape off your wax and reveal your specks. Revel in your delicious brown spots.
I can’t help but think as we look for guidance and leadership in this daunting and unfinished world that we might serve ourselves and others more fully and richly, if we focused less on perfection and more on the opportunities imperfection invites. What would this world look like if we allowed ourselves to be imperfect and authentic? What if we had the courage to own and recognize our true power? What would it be like to deeply know God’s unshakable love, we are loved just as we are, spots and all.
Imperfect but still on the path,
Nebu and Anna