I thought I had a really good idea. I know, most people call it reaching for perfection, but to my mind it was nothing less than survival. To get this life-project off the ground, honesty and authenticity went out the window in favor of establishing habits and actions that would always make me appear to be “just right”. The only thing that has really mattered to me is the bottom line: Am I what I’m supposed to be; am I acceptable; am I fit for love?
Those three questions and their infinite variations have haunted me my whole life. I had no freedom to truly offer myself to God or receive His offerings in return. But, until very recently I did not realize this. Until making myself constantly presentable became too painful. Like applying makeup to a face festering with blistered infection–a normal habit not only becomes not an option, but a danger to one’s health and healing. That’s where I was.
All of a sudden, honesty became the only way I could possibly live with problems I was facing. My disgust with the pain God’s plan’s were causing me demanded that I speak without editing for divine appeal. As I opened the valve and released a trickle from my heart the pressure increased, forcing me to enable more and more to drain from me. I poured my true self out to God, and encountered the most surprising result: I was free, and with all my hate, yet He held me.
He did not lose me to my emotions and my sin, He set me free from the prison in which I had allowed them to hold my heart. I’ve discovered that God can handle my ugliness, He just asks that I agree to let Him. If I keep everything in for the sake of my fear and pride, I am unwittingly nurturing what will harden my heart towards the only One who can make it pure.
And the goal here is purity–the work of God–and not perfection–the misinformed work (without end) of man. The work of purification of our souls begins exactly the moment that we present to Him our need for it.