I loved Myquillyn’s recent post about the near-extinction of the drop-in visit because it conjured up memories of my greatest fear when we lived in Turkey: the drop-in visit. As a culture that straddles both European and Middle Eastern cultures, unannounced visits were perfectly normal.
In fact, they are considered an honor—it’s a great blessing to have guests in your home, so for people to drop by with no warning is to tell you that you are seen as a real friend: hospitable, a soft place to land, worthy of someone else’s afternoon.
And I have to admit, that totally stressed me out.
There’s layers of psychology behind that, but I won’t bore you with it right now. Here’s the real reason it was stressful: because I’m a perfectionist in my flesh, and if someone came by unexpectedly, they’d see my laundry piles and encrusted kitchen counters and children with no pants.
I learned to deal, but I can’t say I ever succumbed to surprise visits being an honor. But three years later, I can look back and safely say I learned about how I’m made because of that cultural norm, and how God can use my inner driving need for perfection to remind me that He alone is perfect, He orchestrates all things in His goodness, and that I can rest in Him as perfectly loved.
I’m not loved for my near-perfection, and neither are you. We’re loved because He is love, plain and simple.
Furthermore—our friends don’t love us for our perfection, either. In fact, don’t you breathe a little sigh of relief and smile a bit when you come to a friend’s house and you witness a peek of their crazy? There’s something comforting in seeing reality in others’ lives.
When my family goes to a museum-quality house for dinner, I spend most of my time making sure my little kids don’t break stuff. When we go to real houses, I let them run off and explore, and I lean back and savor the dinner served on mismatched plates.
Drop-ins don’t happen often in the States, but my time in Turkey has taught me to let go of the never-happening ideal of perfection—not only for my own good, but for the good of others. When we let others into our real, imperfect lives, we’re inviting them to be their true selves in our presence. And that, friends, is where true intimacy is birthed. That’s real friendship, real life, real communion. Our imperfection can remind each other of only-God’s perfection.
Let’s let down our hair a bit with each other. Let’s let people into our real life, our real home, crayoned walls and all.
What imperfection in your life will you embrace this week?Leave a Comment