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Viewpoint from Helen Farman 16/05/2014 

 Helen Farman

Light of Life Baptist Church
Ormesby St Margaret

Dove rightWhen my children were young, we played a game called ‘Perfection’. The aim was to fit lots of shapes into a grid, completing the task before the timer stopped ticking and tossed all the shapes into the air. To beat the clock was ‘perfection’. Needless to say, I don’t think I ever quite reached perfection in the game or in other areas either


   I know perfection is out of reach, and who decides what perfection is anyway? But, how often do I seek it to make me feel good about myself or good in the eyes of others. Why don’t my meals look like those on Master Chef? Why does my home always look as if a bomb has hit it, rather than like one in the ‘Ideal Homes’ magazine? Why does my hair look flat and lifeless in comparison to the shampoo adverts on TV? It is not difficult to develop feelings of inadequacy and poor self-image and believe that if only my circumstances had been different, my upbringing different, my body different, my personality different, I, and life, could be perfect!


 You may have read an article by Steve Downes in the EDP on 26 April, in which he mentioned a model who had become pregnant and planning to abort the baby.  She said, “An abortion will further my career. This time next year I won’t have a baby. Instead I’ll be famous, driving a bright pink Range Rover, buying a big house. Nothing will get in my way.”  She believed she had found the road to perfection in her life. Am I in danger of losing the best of myself and who I truly am, in an effort to appear perfect to those who inhabit my world?

 dove left

I belong to a quilting group, and recently a lady in the group was ironing an almost- completed quilt. As she ironed, tears started to flow; she realised that, for the third time, she had pieced it together incorrectly. It was not perfect as she had hoped. Everyone around her looked at the quilt and exclaimed how beautiful it was and how they would never have known it was not as it should have been. No, it did not look like the quilt on the instruction sheet, but it was stunning, unique and a work of art


Henri Nouwen, a Catholic priest and inspirational writer, wrote a book with the title ‘Can you drink the cup?’ In it he questions whether we are able to accept our lives as unique, with our own joys and sorrows, our own history, character, skills, inadequacies, successes and failures. He suggests that once we accept the real us, not blaming or holding on to bitterness, we will be free to offer our lives to others, as a blessing


 Jesus accepted all those he met as unique and of value, no matter how unacceptable they appeared to many. He accepted all that his own life brought too, the joys and the deep sorrows, and offered it as a blessing to the world. Perfection!


Louise Lyle (Guest) 20/05/2014 10:58
I love Helen, she is the most encouraging, happy, beautiful Christian lady. Recently I among others made bears to sell for Christian Aid. All were unique in the materials that had been used to produce them, and the way they had been put together. All but mine would not have been out of place in a posh shop with a £20 price tag. As a beginner, mine were floppy, flawed and one was even inside out! But without exception Helen and the other ladies' made me feel, and my bears, that we were special. This echoes Jesus. We are all different, some are better than others, but Jesus paid the one price for all of us including me who is especially flawed/special. Helen thank you for writing this article, I thought you were close to perfection, and it is an insight on how we all struggle to meet the demands we think others expect of us. When I think of these things in the future, I will picture the homemade bears, in the trees at the Light of Life church last Saturday, and see how Jesus sees us, all lovely together. Please keep inspiring us. God Bless You.