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Perfect imperfection

L'Abri Riekert Botha

We are at that point in our building of L’Abri where we feel incredible anxiety and despondency. Will we ever complete this project? Will it be perfect or all sort of higgledy piggledy? A mishmash of tried-to-fix mistakes.

With these thoughts in mind I have a vision of a grandmother with her grandchild on her lap. The grandchild has her dummy in her mouth, her eyes half closed and is rubbing her grandmother’s soft flabby arms with her own perfect little hands. What strikes me isn’t the frailty of the older person or the perfection of the younger one. It is the feeling of peace and comfort the scene conveys.

We live in a world where perfection is goal. The result is immense anxiety and frustration for most of us. The clinical spaces we live and work in portray our philosophy. Perfection equals success. Clean lines, minimalism, proportions and balance all intricately orchestrated to show off one’s standard of achievement.

The people whom the Lord has called us to serve in L’Abri, are those who feel that they cannot compete. They are tired and anxious. They are uncertain and unsettled. They need a break. L’Abri is like the lap of a grandmother. Full of wrinkles and faults but a beautiful and comforting space to find the peace we so desperately need.

L’Abri is the Lord’s place, built for the Lord’s purpose and we pray that we will be able to see it through the Lord’s eyes.

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