Last year, my three kids and I flew from Cape Town, South Africa to Michigan to visit my mom, who was in the final stages of metastatic breast cancer.
Upon our arrival, I was shocked to see the drastic deterioration in my mom’s physical state. She didn’t even rise from the couch to greet me, but instead waited for me to bend down to hug her.
When she did stand up, she relied heavily on her walker and even then, her arms were visibly shaking as she shuffled along precariously. Her breathing was labored even with the constant assistance of oxygen tubes, and her feet and hands were completely numb from countless weeks of chemo.
Once we got settled in at the house after our long flights, we called my husband on Skype to tell him that we had arrived safely. He saw Mom on the web cam and asked, “How are you?”
Although she was visibly struggling to move, she answered, “Well, I’ve had a few rough days, but now that Kate and the kids are here, I’m perfect.”
I looked at her, slack-jawed by her choice of adjective, and thought to myself, “This woman in her current condition is about as far from perfect as a person can get.”
But it did make me think about our relationship with Christ and our current condition as we wait for him to arrive. Like Mom, we are weak, unstable and riddled with pain. But as soon as Christ comes, we will be perfect.
In fact, because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we are already viewed as perfect, though we still grow in sanctification every day.
Hebrews 10:14 says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Isn’t that amazing?
For my mom, even with cancer cells consuming her entire being, she understood what it meant to be made perfect. She knew and loved the One who had made her perfect, and she rejoiced in him daily.
Not only did she rejoice in her Savior, the author and perfecter of her faith, but she also strived to give testimony to others of His grace in her life as well, even in the midst of tremendous suffering. After all, this is one of our mandates as the people of God, right?
As Colossians 1:28 states, “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.”
As we slog through the mountains and valleys of life, I’d venture to guess that not many of us would use the term “perfect” in response to the simple question, “How are you?”
Yet because of Christ,
we are seen as perfect in his eyes,
we are being made perfect,
and we will be perfect forever in eternity with Him when He chooses to call us home.
What does your ‘perfect’ look like?
Photo taken by my mom, who is now witnessing even more perfect sunsets than this one
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I am so glad Nasreen sent me to check out your post. This resonated with me in ways you cannot imagine. I get it. By some measures, my life is as far from perfect as could be imagined. Yet, my faith has helped me appreciate the beauty in my now, and to say, (in the words of Paul) ” I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” and trust me, that isn’t easy.
Thank you for sharing your heart. Bless your mother for the faith and strength she clearly poured into you.
Peace and good, dear friend of one so dear to me.
It brings me much joy to hear that these words found resonance in your heart. Praise God for the work He has already done in your life, and for the fact that He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. Thank you for your very kind words. I’m sure we’ll cross virtual paths again soon through our mutual friend. Blessings to you.
Thank you for the cry this morning. And your sorrows were made perfect over your mother’s condition. How hard that must have been to see her like that.
Oh dear, I’m not sure I can say ‘You’re welcome’ for making you cry! 🙂 But I will say thank you for responding, and I do hope the Lord blessed you and lifted you in the midst of shed tears. Blessings to you.
Oh dear, I’m not sure I can say ‘You’re welcome’ for making you cry! 🙂 But I will say thank you for responding, and I do hope the Lord encouraged you and lifted you in the midst of shed tears. Blessings to you.
Kate, I am so sorry for your loss yet I rejoice for heaven’s gain. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you for the sweet words of sympathy, Aimee. They are much appreciated. Have a blessed weekend.
Ann van says
Such a “perfect” devotion for me today, when I am struggling to see myself as he does, despite a not so perfect body.
Thank you, Ann. It warms my heart to know that the Lord used this to meet you in your point of need. May He continue to remind you that you are covered by the perfect blood of the Lamb. Blessings to you.
That is a beautiful sunset, and I am glad that your mom is now seeing even more beautiful sunsets minus the pain and tears of this life. When my husband died in April, I said oh, he will be missing spring this year; to which my daughter replied he’s seeing something even more beautiful than spring. ‘Tis so true!
I am terribly sorry to hear of your loss. I caught myself doing the very same thing you mentioned after my mom passed away. I would drive past our favorite Chinese restaurant and think, ‘Oh, how sad! Mom is never again going to taste a Chinese buffet! Then I would realize what a ridiculous thought that was, and smile as I imagined the never-ending, glorious feasting in heaven.
May our Lord keep you tucked under His wing as you continue to mourn the loss of your husband.
I cried when I read this. For so many reasons, really. Thank you for posting this. A good and necessary reminder for all of us. My “perfect” looks like a very crabby, hormonal mother being short with her child today. I’m clinging to Jesus because he knows my heart and sees me….he’s renewing me each and every moment. Praise him!
Thanks for your honesty, Erin. With three kids of my own, I can definitely relate! But yes, praise God for His renewing and sustaining grace. His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness. May He continue to grant you sufficient grace for each new morning.
Nasreen Fynewever says
Meanginful post and challenging question, thank you for this.
Nasreen Fynewever says
Meanginful post and challenging question, thank you for this. You write so intently as His ambassador; keep the forthright spirit, it is encouraging and needed.
Thank you, my friend. May He continue to use you and your influential voice for His glory as well.
Becky Jones says
I lost my Mom 50 yrs ago in Jan. But she had lived a life in front of us tells me where she is today. She is sitting in Heaven taking care of my granddaughter. Your writing about your Mom was so good and neat ad so telling about were your Mom is today.
Blessings to you.
Thank you for sharing this, Becky. I am so sorry for your losses.
Praise God for the eternal hope that we can share.
I’m so sorry for your loss. And yet, so happy for all the blessings – you being there for her and her joy in having you there despite her pain. I’m sure she’s been a blessing for you all your life – and she’ll continue to bless you from her heavenly home. Peace.
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and sympathy, Deb. Much appreciated. Have a blessed weekend.
Beth Williams says
Powerful post Kate.
Soo so sorry for your loss, but glad you got to be there and see your mom one more time before she died.
I can’t hardly call myself perfect–perfectly flawed yes! But for the Grace of Almighty God am I made perfect!