Looking Behind the “Perfect Mask”
I recently crossed paths with one of my best friends from my childhood. He said something that blew my mind. He said that I was little miss perfect growing up and that I had this perfect childhood. It is crazy to me that people use to think I was perfect or had anything “perfect” in my life. I guess I got really good at putting on a facade. I would even go as far to say I must have been a master at putting on my “perfect face”. My childhood was far from perfect. Now, let me be clear. I am not saying I had the worst childhood ever or even that it was horrible. It was far from perfect, it was un-perfected
I watched my mom struggle with her health as long as I can remember. My dad worked two or three jobs most of my childhood to put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads. I didn’t have name brand clothes or shoes and honestly most of my things were second hand. But I did have a family that was close. We loved each other, even in the middle of the fights. Now I look back on a lot of my un-perfected childhood with fondness. I made mistakes (more than I like to admit), but those mistakes helped shape me and my path.
Someone you might know of had a pretty un-perfected childhood too. Even if it didn’t look like it from the outside. He was a prince after all. No, I’m not talking about Charles, Harry, or anyone else from that royal family. I’m talking about Moses.
Moses’ UnPerfected Life
His messed up childhood began before he was even born. The poor kid didn’t stand a chance of having anything close to a perfect childhood. Of course, if he had a perfect (or close to perfect) childhood, he wouldn’t have lead the Israelites to freedom, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Before Moses was born, the Pharaoh (of Egypt) passed a law that every Hebrew male baby should be thrown in the Nile river upon birth. Lucky for Moses, God showed his parents that he was special (Acts 7:20) and they disobeyed the order and hid him for three months.
But Moses’ mom knew she couldn’t keep him a secret forever, so she devised a plan. She put her son in a makeshift raft and set him in the Nile at the riverbank with his sister watching from a distance. It is believed that Moses’ mom knew that many Egyptian women visited the river, probably to bathe and wash clothes. She probably theorized that someone would locate her special son and take him as her own. And she was right, the Pharaoh’s daughter did. (Exodus 2:5-6).
Things are looking up for old Moses now, right? Maybe for a little while. He did have fine tutors, ate fine foods, and all that other royal stuff. But he watched his people enslaved and suffering. He knew it was wrong and eventually he had to trade his “perfect” life for one on the run (Exodus Chapter 2).
Looking from the outside it might be easy to miss imperfections in others’ lives. We see nice clothes, well-behaved children, clean homes, great jobs, and the list goes on. But is that the “real story” or is it simply the Instagram orFacebook version of their lives? We should all learn to look past the”perfect” exterior and look at what really is going on. If we can learn to do that, we can see their needs and meet people right where they are. So how can we learn to do that?
5 Day UnPerfected Challenge
Starting January 7th, we will complete a series of challenges over a 5 day period. These challenges will help us shake off the “perfect” blinders and see ourselves and those around us as they truly are. Join the UnPerfected Facebook group to join in the discussion.