Almost Perfect

"May I go now?" the almost completed, eager mother asked.

"Not yet. There are essential parts and finishing touches to be added," her Maker replied.

"I look pretty good to me," she said, peering into the crystal pool at her feet.

"True, you're looking better all the time. But bear with me."

"What does a mother have to do, God, besides wash, feed, and clothe little bodies?"

God only smiled and continued working.

"What are you doing now?" the curious mother-to-be questioned.

"Tightening your anger valve. If this doesn't work, everyone is in trouble."

She watched as He reached for the container marked patience.

"And what do I need patience for?" she asked as He poured in quite a supply.

"After a week, you will know my child."

"And whatever could that be?"

"This is your bypass mechanism. It enables a mother to operate efficiently for long periods of time without compliments from her children."

"I'm sure I won't need that."

"I'm sure you will."

Then God reached for a bundle labeled insulation against loud noises.

"You can skip that," she told Him. "I don't mind a little noise."

"That's nice," He said.

Seeing all the energy He was preparing to give her, she shifted uneasily from one foot to the other. "I wouldn't need all that energy in a million years."

"Little do you know. You will use all of this and be begging for more before long."

"I didn't know there was so much involved in being a mother, You're not just putting me on, are you?"

"No, little mother."

With much apprehension, "Are You sure I can handle the job?"

"Quite sure.with help. I'm always available when you need me."

"I'm glad to know that. What could I possibly need all these for?"

"A certain amount of pain, so that you will be fully equipped to sympathize with and minister to the needs of your children when they feel pain, tears, so that you will be able to cry with them when they are hurt; and laughter to blend with theirs for happy times."

The mother-in-waiting fidgeted while God attached yes and no buttons.

"Wouldn't it be nicer just to say yes to my children all the time?"

"Definitely not. Good mothers need to say no--and often. Say it with kindness and they will respect you for it."

"Have you equipped me with this thing called kindness, Lord?"

"I have indeed."

"And what about respect? Do I have to respect my children?"


The anxious mother tried to be patient as God installed a question answerer, advice giver, get along without sleep, and a pretender not to notice.

"I know I wouldn't use one of those!" she said, as God came toward her with a let-go lever.

"Sure you will, though it's hard. This is a vital piece of equipment. Until this little lever is released, your children will not have room to grow properly, make their own decisions, or develop their own personalities."

"I guess that is important."

God stood back a few steps to appraise His work, then reached for a coat of love and wrapped it around her. "Wear this at all times, and you'll be a good mother."

"Am I ready now, God, to get on with the mothering bit?"

"You can go now," God said gently. "You're not perfect, but you will do."

--Oakleaf, Oakhaven Church of Christ, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

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