Imperfect is Important

I had a bit of a meltdown the other day. It wasn’t about something lofty like the suffering of mankind, it was after watching a talk I had filmed for someone, go live on their site. Want to know why? One sentence in the middle of the presentation. One. Sentence. In. The. Middle. But it only takes one sentence to make it imperfect, and imperfect is my least favourite thing. I’ve been battling with my hatred of imperfect my whole life long. No matter how hard I work on a project, ultimately when it is released to the world all I can see is every little mistake. Sigh. Not only is it imperfect but now everyone else can see how imperfect I really am too. But in this season I am working hard to remember that imperfect is important. Why? Because imperfect doesn’t equal insufficient or without-value. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen those boxes of wonky vegetables supermarkets sell at a cut down price; carrots with a right angled bend and oddly shaped spuds. The thing about those vegetables is, they are just as jam-packed full of sustenance as the perfect kind. Our work is always going to be a wonky carrot. If people look hard enough they’ll see the cracks and creases. But that doesn’t mean it won’t bring sustenance to their lives. If we’re brave enough to present our imperfect to the world it might just be the meal someone needs that day. Imperfect is still valuable and imperfect is all we have. If we won’t bring an imperfect offering to the world’s table, we won’t bring anything at all. Today my old books went live on Apple Books. They’ve only ever been in physical print before. My first reaction? Anxiety. I know they aren’t perfect. And I know if I could just have a month to re-write them I’d change a million things. But then I remember, my imperfect offering is still packed full of value. And maybe, for me, dying-to-self looks a little like being brave enough to feed someone what I’ve got, even if they don’t go away thinking I’m a Masterchef.

So what is your offering to the world? Please bring it. I, for one, won’t be looking for the cracks and creases in it: I’ll be too busy celebrating your courage with a little jig. Your imperfect is important.

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