My eyes scanned the row of pumpkins from afar. Excitement grew as I made a steadfast decision to bring one home. Out of my car and standing at the back of the parking lot, I inhaled Autumn. There is a crispness in the air that simply is not available in the heat of summer. From the distance, I was immediately drawn to the perfectly shaped pumpkin with the little twist in his stem.
Walking, almost skipping, I approach the long line of festive Fall fruit. The pumpkin I had chosen came into focus, in the same way words become clearer through your glasses.
I felt the air waft from my soul.
My heart crouched with disappointment.
Yellowish slash marks splattered his smooth orange face. His back side was sunken, dented and uneven.
For more than one moment, maybe two, I wanted to desert this imperfect pumpkin, the one who did not live up to my expectations. Its scars….its brokenness made it suddenly less attractive.
Have you ever felt judged based upon your appearance? Or have you ever cast someone aside in your mind based on the way they initially presented? Maybe you dismissed the cashier who was rude, or the dad who smelled of last night’s binge. Moses was certainly well aware of the tentacles of disobedience…of how swiftly harsh disregard for Our Creator can spread among us.
“I am making this covenant with you so that no one among you-no man, woman, clan, or tribe will turn away from the LORD our GOD to worship these gods of other nations, and so that no root among you bears bitter and poisonous fruit.” (NLT Deuteronomy 29:18)
Thankful for Jesus who has intimate knowledge of the poisonous fruit of my past that stunk up my soul, Spirit whispered in my mind:
This is the one for you. Accept it as it is.
Knocking my sinful perfectionist tendencies aside, Spirit convicted me to take home this sad little pumpkin.
When we demand perfection for ourselves and others, we fall prey to slimy, drippy poison that infects our Spirit and those around us: judgement, exclusion, words that tear down, depression, control……
When we seek perfection: perfect words, perfect love, perfect obedience….we are seeking the one who walked in our flesh and who died in our flesh.
There is only one perfect.
His name is Jesus.
Today I pray for misfit pumpkins, Charlie Brown Christmas Trees and all the broken, scarred hearts that need to be seen and heard by Our Lord.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I praise You for the beautiful creation of the seasons. Your master design of Nature meets the needs of us and the animals so perfectly.
From our pumpkin patch of life, Lord, I pray You will sweeten all the sour, spoiled fruit that violates the grace and acceptance You offer. For those who need built up and encouraged, please connect them to roots with productive vines. And Lord, the men and women and those they love poisoned by Satan, please rescue, save and protect them.
We entrust this big prayer to You, Our One and Only Healer and Savior.
In the precious name of Jesus,
If you have any thoughts to share, I would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check back next Tuesday for police wife blog and Wednesday for everyone else!