Leave it Like it is

November 25, 2013 — 8 Comments


Spackle is a wonderful thing, and I always make sure we have enough of it. Large chunks are regularly taken out of our walls, due to pirate fights gone awry and general mischief. We also have various forms of what I call the scrape canyon: the deep, elongated divot that results from a chair being repeatedly dragged or swiveled forcibly across the same part of the wall.

I am the kind of person who spackles and then sands, spackles and then sands, approximately 722 times until there is no visible trace of the violence done to our walls. I get a kind of perverse joy out of rebuilding what was broken, and restoring what was lost. I believe our walls thank me. I may be wrong on that count, but I’ll thank you to let me have my little moment here.

But there are two small dents in our living room wall that we have not patched. These strangers are not very visible, residing just below our stairs on the small part of the wall that mostly gets covered up with our blanket basket. I’m not sure why we didn’t patch them. By now they mostly go unnoticed. I like to think we chose to keep them there, as a reminder of an angry moment, but really, I think we just never got to it.

I am at the age now where lines and wrinkles etch my face. My hands suddenly look like I’ve spent most of my life in a coal mine. My hair is receding and balding in the back (a fact that my sons love to point out, asking me if I shaved certain parts of it while tracing the outline of said baldness with their flawless, young hands).

I am at the age now where my interior cracks and flaws are more visible as well, because they’re harder to hide the older you get. The people that love me know that I can be passionate and generous, and that I can get almost anything moving. But they also know that I can be impatient and that I can live too far down the road, ahead of everybody else and alone.

The temptation is to spackle those flaws. I will neither confirm nor deny that I have lingered over the ads in Sky Mall magazine on recent flights, which promise to restore hair by waving a palm sized laser pointer over your baldness for “just minutes a day!”

But when I think of the people I really love being around, I realize I love them because they let the cracks show. Nobody loves perfection in another human being, yet we strive for it ourselves, falsely believing that’s the only way to be loved. It’s a sad and vicious cycle, this self-spackling.

There was a little community of people that lived a long time ago that believed that we are most beautiful when we let the cracks show, because that gives the light that is inside of us the chance to radiate outwards.

“The God who spoke light into existence, saying, “Let light shine from the darkness” is the very One who sets our hearts ablaze to shed light on the knowledge of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus, the Liberating King. But this beautiful treasure is contained in us – cracked pots made of earth and clay – so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7, The Voice Translation).

So when you notice the next crack in your carefully constructed exterior, leave it like it is. The light of God gets out better when we let the cracks show.

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8 responses to Leave it Like it is

  1. So good Steve. I missed parts of your talk on Sunday because the Viewing Room gets loud. But even so, I loved what I heard.

  2. It is sad to think we desire to cover all the and mercy radiating through. Thanks for the post. Love the analogy! We are walking advertisements of His love for us!

  3. Even though it has all the hallmarks of being rubbish, that laser treatment for baldness actually seems to work! (At least, one brand did—others may not.)

  4. My life is a Spackle! No, my life needs Spackle. Like the big gaping hole where my daughter’s father should be paying child support into. I want to go and stand outside his office with a plaquard saying “How can a man working for department of communities – Youth Justice conscientiously live with not paying child support for his daughter?” I feel like i want to smash holes in the walls of this building with the anger and frustration i have inside me.
    So yes, maybe i shall enjoy and appreciate my angry mad rage and videotape myself, then watch it one day and LMAO.

  5. I was just looking at a wall in Nash’s room last night; it’s taken a beating from the corner of the rocking chair hitting the wall during story time and our bed time routine. I have been meaning to grab the spackle for awhile (I prefer the “goes on pink, dries white”) so that his room would look more perfect and more tidy. Your post got me thinking…If I were looking around a friends home and they showed me their sons room and I saw a beat up wall behind the rocking chair I would immediately think of the moments they must have spent together reading and rocking and what that would have meant for their relationship. But looking at the same wall in my own home my response is far different. I see imperfection and what it would take to make it go away.

  6. I’m assuming by your title that you are familiar with the song by David Wilcox called “Leave it like it is.” If not, it’s worth listening to. You can find it on youtube by searching the title and David Wilcox.

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