In a perfect world

I stand accused
There's a list a mile long
Of all my sins
Of everything that I've done wrong
I'm so ashamed
There's nowhere left for me to hide
This is the day
I must answer for my life

My fate is in the Judge's hands
But then He turns to me and says

I know you
I love you
I gave My life to save you
Love paid the price for mercy
My verdict: not guilty

How can it be?
I can't begin to comprehend
What kind of grace
Would take the place of all my sin?

I stand in awe
Now that I have been set free
And the tears well up as I look at that cross
'Cause it should have been me

My fate was in the nail scarred hands
He stretched them out for me and said

I'm falling on my knees to thank You
With everything I am I'll praise You
So grateful for the words I heard You say
~Mandisa, Not Guilty~


My friend's baby, sweet, ravaged beauty from Malawi, her eyes roll back and the first responders are doing CPR. And I could not be there to hold my friend. To bring her meals in the hospital and movies to watch and something arty to do. That's what I would do in a perfect world.


 My friend is raped and running scared, that wild look in her eye that shouts fear. I couldn't prevent it. I couldn't keep her company the night she chose to go out because she was lonely. Because that's what I would have done in a perfect world.


I wake up punching my husband, the nightmare too real, I the string puppet mastered in sleep by the darkness of my own past. I couldn't stop myself. I couldn't avoid the nightmare. I can't change my past. That's what I would do in a perfect world.

I am a recovering perfectionist. This is pretty apparent if you walk into my home, which is more likely to be messy than picked up. You will probably find clean toilets. House-cleaning has become a rolling probabilities puzzle (will my child be hurt worse by toilet germs or the toys on the front room floor?). But I have time for my kids, now that my house doesn't have to be perfect. My kids show it too, messy mismatched clothes, dirty toes, chocolatey grins, skinned knees and grass in their hair. But they are so happy.

My cancer - constant companion since 2008 - is a pretty good cure for perfectionism. Like an instantaneous relief print of a photograph, cancer highlights what really matters and darkens those things that don't. And then there is the special needs kid that gets thrown into the mix out of the blue in 2009. Then you lose all your friends in 2010 and suddenly realize, where did I get these standards from, and are they True or false?


My kids watch more movies now, because it doesn't really matter, and they love it.

My husband occasionally cooks dinner, because it really does matter that I have a break.

We are mulling over school choices for our kids, something we've never done before. (Homeschool or die. Umm, where is that in the Bible?)


I am treating myself with a little more respect as I slowly, surely, begin to comprehend that I am not "filthy rags" to my Father, but a precious, beautiful, flawed daughter He longs to love on, lavish, support and always be with.






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