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The Beauty of Imperfection

I’m currently about two-thirds of the way through Perfect Escape by one of my favorite young adult writers, Jennifer Brown.

This book tells the story of Kendra, a high school senior, who whisks her brother, Grayson, away on a road trip.

It’s no ordinary road trip, though, because Kendra is running away from trouble at school.

She tries to justify the trip in her mind by claiming that she’s on a mission to help her brother, who is mentally ill because of his OCD.

One of the things Grayson does when he’s under stress is to line up rocks and count them.

Rocks are his fascination, and I was struck by a comment he made to Rena, a young mom who joins in on their road trip.

She asks Grayson why a particular piece of quartz is colorless while other pieces have various colors.

He explains that pure quartz is colorless, and that is is chemical imperfections that leads to quartz becoming colored.

Then he says, “Quartz is at its most beautiful when it’s been changed by impurities.”

Go ahead and re-read it.  I bolded it because it’s a very poignant statement.

I had to pause in my reading, so I’m not sure how the author is going to use this statement of his.

I sure can see deep meaning in this sentence.

The first thing I thought about was my students.

They are certainly not perfect (none of us are).

Their lives are dirtied up by terribly dysfunctional home lives, terrible personal choices, and temptations to make more poor decisions.

These are the students who walk into my classroom.

These are the things that make them beautiful in my eyes.

These are my favorites precisely because of their imperfections.

I find even deeper meaning in Grayson’s words, though, by thinking about our lives as sinners.

Boy are we imperfect, aren’t we?

In God’s eyes, though, we are beautiful and worthy of His love.

He sent Jesus, His Son, to die for imperfect beings.

How humbling is that?!

I think back to when the Mr. proposed to me and gave me my engagement ring.

I was in college and enrolled in a science class that had a lab.  One lab day, we had to work with the microscopes, and I put my ring beneath the viewer.  We marveled because the diamond was nearly flawless.

I wonder how many people purposely select diamonds with flaws?

Not many.  There’s an entire rating scale devoted to a diamond’s qualities, and big sales are made over the best gems.

When you look at Grayson’s statement again, you notice that he says that quartz is beautiful because it’s been changed by imperfections.

If you think about it, our imperfections make us who we are.  They add color to our lives.

What an interesting concept and such a neat way of looking at and accepting my own imperfections…something that’s very tough for a perfectionist like myself.

I am beautiful…

Because of my imperfections.

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