If an old, beaten up rocker is collecting dust in your attic, what do you do? After hearing, “Burn it!” from a few of your fire-happy friends, you would more than likely trash it. A bruised banana in the grocery store? You leave it on the fruit shelf for a store clerk to trash and pick up the nice yellow ones beside it. A ripped T-shirt? You suddenly become the proud owner of many “cleaning” rags after the material has been shredded apart.
When my sisters and I were younger, Mama gave us these big, dark-brown baby dolls for Christmas. We absolutely loved those dolls. When we played house with our younger brothers, they became the proud “older brothers” of three “baby sisters.” Those dolls rode on our hips. They rode in the car with us. They slept with us. Unknown to others, these dolls were a living and breathing part of our family and lives.
One day, Ann and I were playing in the room and she went to pick up her baby. Her doll’s head rolled right off its neck and onto the ground. Once the shock subsided and we could breathe again, we scooped up the baby and took her to a professional: Mama. Mama examined the doll and came up with source of the problem: the doll was defected. The hem that housed the string, which attached the baby’s head, was ripped in two and there was no immediate hope of fixing it.
Our old, defected baby dolls were usually fodder for our uncles’ burn piles. This time, however, we could not find it in our hearts to throw Ann’s doll in the burn pile. Mama avoided it. Ann hid it. I just kept thinking there had to be a way to fix it. Finally, after a few days of pondering, I took a shoe string from my old tennis shoe, recovered the doll and its head and tied the string around its neck. A supernatural strength must have come over me because the head stayed on that day and has not budged once since that day about 14 years ago. Mama was relieved she didn’t have to play the role of “heartless executor.” Ann smiled again and was happy her baby was not going to end up headless and in the trash. And, me…I was glad a defected doll brought so much joy to the heart of my family.
I find it ironic that a doll would personify everything I thought and knew of myself. I am marked. I am defected. And, I still have scars. Those things are true. However, God’s word promises in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Our imperfections cannot and do not limit God’s ability to be “I AM” in our lives.
As I look back on my life, I’m so glad God used imperfect experiences, situations and people to teach me about His perfect love. God is bigger than our marks, defects, short comings and scars. So, let us rejoice! Rejoice because in Him all things are made new. Rejoice because He sees us as what we will become, not as we were. Rejoice because, as we are- a marked mess and all- we bring much joy to the heart of our Father. REJOICE!