‘Are you okay?’ he asks.
We watch as a fat tear drops into the cream cheese.
‘I’m making sandwiches. For tomorrow’s lunch. They’re a disaster.’
He inspects a corner.
‘Seem fine to me, Same as usual, right?’
Right. They are the same as usual. But we’ve got Guests Staying. And the Guests will be eating these sandwiches.
I open my mouth and close it again. I want to explain but I can’t.
Suddenly I feel like my whole life is under scrutiny and falling short. I’m no good at being a hostess and looking after others. I’m no good at being a wife. I’m scared that when folks come into my space they’ll see the real me – uptight and neurotic and ungodly and weird. Then they’ll run.
I’d like to run too.
But instead, I hoover. I dust. I
bake burn. And I cry – over a sandwich. It looks so pathetic and the bread’s crumbled and I reckon other wives come up with things that are better than ham and cheese and I think of all the other areas I fall short in. I wish I was different to who I am and I don’t know who this perfect sandwich is for or if it even exists but suddenly it seems like my whole identity is bound up in what I put in tomorrow’s lunchbox.
I blurt it out. ‘The sandwiches aren’t Good Enough. The sandwiches are Me’.
I know it doesn’t matter. Except that actually it does. Because underneath the sandwiches is a woman who’s afraid she’s not enough. And the question is, enough for what? Enough for who?
It’s not my lovely guests.
It’s not my husband. Or my family or friends. Or God.
It’s me. My pride. My ridiculous standards. I must be perfect. The laws that in Jesus I’ve died to – but try and reinstate.
I must be perfect. But I can’t. And the more I try, the more I lose myself in myself.
There’s a verse at the beginning of Hebrews 3 which says this:
‘Dear friends, God has chosen you to be his holy people, SO’…
how would you finish this?
– Think about how much He loves you?
– Think about how godly you are?
– Think about what you’ve done to be chosen?
It says this:
‘God has chosen you to be his holy people, SO think about JESUS’.
Not the cleaning. Not the cooking. Not the nail varnish or the egg rolls. Not yourself – whether accusation or congratulation.
Christianity is not about being good. It explodes the idea that I can ever do enough. It starts with my weakness and my defeat. I can’t do it Lord. I can’t keep your laws and I can’t keep my own. Help me.
And He does. He lifts me out of the arena of performance. Not just once, but every day. Every minute, as I create new laws I cannot keep.
He shows me acceptance and grace. Then He lifts my eyes – away from me . To His perfection.