we barely dragged ourselves to church.
everyone was tired and both girls were blowing their noses into tissues.
“mom! i can’t go to church! i have a cold!” said mazzy.
i was crying from the first worship song on.
“there’s no place i would rather be, then here in your love, then here in your love.”
i thought of when joshua and i prayed the other morning. we were laying side by side after waking up, praying for our day. i felt rusty. i felt like i knew the right words to say and what to ask for, but like the beating heart of friendship had slowed. i felt, as holden caulfield would say, a little like a phony.
and i felt that way again right now singing about god’s perfect love and asking for more when i didn’t feel entitled to any of it.
mazzy asked to sit on my lap at the end of the service.
she leaned into me and her hand went to my face tracing me like a blind girl. but instead of placing just who i was, she was searching out the many moles on my face. first the big one on my chin and then the flat one between my chin and my cheek and then all the way over to the other side of my head to the one near my ear.
she was tracing out my imperfections because they identify me. they are my story.
i’m not perfect.
i’m not the perfect christian or the perfect mother.
i’m not the perfect friend or the perfect wife.
i’ve got moles and old prayers that are easy to see, easy to hear.
she leans in to me and whispers:
“mom, you were right. i’m glad we came to church. will you forgive me?”
and somehow perfect love finds its way to me, whether or not i’m worthy to receive it. the generosity of god won’t be stopped and i don’t worship because i’m shiny and happy or christian of the year.
i sing simple songs of love to tell a better story. i sing simple songs of love with a cracking voice to remember what god does with imperfection.