scrap paper laid out and pencil in hand, sophia asked me in her polite reserved voice, if i could "pa-leez" draw her a butterfly. wanting her to practice and realize how capable she is of such things, i said the condemning: "you try it first."
but that's not the answer she wanted to hear. she wanted me to step in and take over and make a butterfly that wouldn't contain the shakiness of her lines, the unmatched wings, the disproportionate body (mine would not lack those, but she can't see that).
so she cried out. she cried out, "i can't!" she wailed, "it won't be perfect!"
out of fear that she had been given that message at school or that i had inadvertently led her to that belief, the rush of words came up and scribbled onto the scrap paper, and then gently wrapped the sobbing child:
"there is beauty in the process."
there is no perfect when it comes to drawing a butterfly. there is no perfect here.
i feel a bit conflicted though, a day later. what more could i have said in that teachable moment. what more could i funneled into her ears?
what about grace? what about God's transforming love? what about pursing holiness, goodness, life?
as i thought back on that moment--it was all too brief--i am afraid the "right" words were absent.
but then i said that back to myself: there is beauty in the process.
while i listened to these lyrics being sung:
There’s glory in the dirt / There's beauty in the dirt (Gungor)
i had forgotten how much God delights in me right now. i had forgotten how much beauty he finds in me. i had forgotten how he knows my days and he sees the big picture. how he sees the process.
too often i cry out, "i'm not perfect!" "i give up!" "i can't!"
and so wonderfully often, i hear back, in my spirit, "there is beauty in that shaky line." "there is beauty in that unmatched wing." "there is beauty in that disproportion, human, frail, short-sighted, made-in-my-likeness being of a woman i call lisa."
so to that, i pick up my pencil and go on. line by curvy line. scrap by scrap. until the butterfly is drawn.
my dear child, see the beauty in the process.