|Fort Edmonton Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada |
lynn j simpson 2012
“Love, however, depends in part on our ability to own and share our faults. The one who is forgiven much, loves much (Luke 7:47).” From Safe People, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John TownsendNow where did that come from? I tapped my head a couple of times on my steering wheel then looked up at the cars in front of me wanting to exit the park, and then at my friend (well, who knew if he was still my friend after what I just did) stepping into the cab of his truck, angry looks from drivers caught behind him. Caught, stuck behind him.
Because of something I did. But I went and blamed him. Why?
It was not one of my finer moments.
Moments before we had been sitting on the open tailgate of my Jeep, discussing where we may want to go next after spending a crisp, fall day walking the cobble and dirt roads, exploring the fur trade, the churches, the pioneer days of 1885, 1905, and 1920. My camera around my neck, he patiently waited each time I stopped to frame a shot, and I happily listened to his tales of time with his kids when they were young, and when he was young, growing up the German way on the ‘farm.’
Then he said it. A comment that made my stomach feel like it was trying to digest a bad piece of bannock. It wasn’t the first time. And it wasn’t malicious on his part. It was just the truth. A truth I was still having trouble believing, but his truth nonetheless. I slipped off the tailgate, stepped into the passenger side of my truck, pretending I needed to get something from my purse, just needing a moment.
“Want to go for a ride on the bike?”
I brightened. “Sure!”
He grinned, his hand resting on the top of my open Jeep door. He knew how much I liked being a passenger, wind whipping in my face, while on his motorcycle. Often when we rode I would see him checking his rearview mirror, checking if I was smiling.
I slipped over into the driver’s side of my truck, and pulled out of the parking spot, glancing in the rearview mirror. All was clear. Too clear. My friend, already in the line up to leave the park, stopped suddenly, stopped all the traffic behind him, waved at me frantically.
“What?” I looked at him questioningly, out my open passenger window, and as he strode by my truck his dark eyes locked on me for a moment. I turned my head, looked behind me and then understood why the view had been so clear. My tail gate still open, he picked up my lap top bag that had fallen out on to the pavement, placed it back into my truck before shutting the gate.
I heard him muttering as he walked back to his truck. “Unbelievable.”
I yelled out. “That was your fault!”
“My fault?” he questioned back. He looked up, raised his hands in the air. “My fault? Unbelievable.” He stepped into his cab, started driving to the relief of all those behind him. But first he made sure I was let into the line-up, letting me pull in front of him after, I am sure, he saw me bang my head on the steering wheel a few times.
A little later, after I let him merge in front me, following him back to his house, I wiped a tear from my cheek. Why did I blame him for something that was obviously my fault? I’d forgotten to shut the tailgate of my truck. But I blamed him because he was the last one sitting on it. But that does not make him responsible.
I have a hard time with my imperfections. And when someone else, especially those I am close to, sees my imperfections.
So often I’ll make the silliest mistakes—keys in my freezer, forgetting my cell phone at a friend’s house, not closing the top of the Tupperware container so the contents dries up, or spills out the next time I reach for it. When I get caught, my excuses? I am creative, I say. I get distracted easily. Or I say, I am so focused on you, my company at the moment, that all else does not matter.
Bologne. These may be truths, but the full-truth is I am not perfect. None of us all.
“Unsafe people….project an image of perfection, and their image becomes more important to them than the relationships they are in. If someone threatens their image, they will attack that person, for they must keep up their image at all costs.” Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
Standing on my friend’s driveway, as he passed me my helmet to keep me safe, I apologized to him, for my words, for reacting from hurt instead of love, for blaming him, for projecting my insecurities of not being perfect enough, on to him. He nodded, appreciative, forgiving, and checked that my helmet strap was tight. My hands on his hips, we cruised out to the road, and he quickly sped up to the speed limit, the crisp wind on my cheeks, and his eyes in the rearview mirror checking if I was smiling.
Are you okay with your imperfections? Do you allow God's grace to forgive you so you can forgive yourself and others of their imperfections?