I knew what it was when I saw it lying there beneath the rose bush. Beneath “Lucky’s” rose; the one we planted in his memory because it seems roses live longer than our dearest four-legged friends.
I picked it up. The wood all splintered and faded from the sun, and me with a tear and breath stilled as something so simple took me back a hundred summers, or so it seemed. I remember the day he painted it. How he worked so hard to get the lettering just right, and the colors to match the garden.
“Don’t look yet, Mom,” he spoke through a toothless smile and the tiny pair of glasses forever crooked on his young face.
I remember when it was finished and how his “Mom’s Garden” sign hung for years through rain and sun officially defining my little space…our special little space where it was ok to pluck seed heads, to clip spent blooms or gather small bouquets…to learn and explore and to grow the blessing of a mother-and-child bond right along with the flowers.
Elements have washed away the colors now, erased the little-boy lettering and the flower in pink with the green stem and the sun up in the corner. Yet the gift remains “perfect” in the splintered wood…I still see it. The sentiment and hard work of small hands streaked with garden soil.
Sometimes we strive toward a clouded image in our quest for “perfect” when there’s so much beauty in imperfection because that’s when God does his best work; lifting us out of the muck and mire. He cleans us up, wipes away our past and shines up our future until we’re a new creation…”perfect” in his eyes…perfectly his.
We live with the imperfect every day; our chipped paint, that mess in the corner, the clutter of our busy lives, yet the blessing is in the living. God bless the laughter and the memories and the moments unplanned…the beauty in the imperfect.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
(1 John 4:18) ESV