puzzlepiece.jpg Nobody is perfect. Each man and woman on this planet is different. Fingerprints. DNA. The non-negotiables are all unique. Is this chaos?

No. Not in my mind. What I perceive as chaotic is just the random, splotchy corner piece to a puzzle for which I have no guide to build. The good news is that I am not meant to build this puzzle. I serve a much simpler need, something not beyond my capacity as a mortal.

If I step onto a bus and take a seat, there is a chance that my piece to the puzzle will lock perfectly with the person across the aisle from me.

A kiss on the forehead, my lips to a stranger's brow, might lock us together for an instant and set the puzzle on course to be built. It was intended. And I didn't need to see the beginning of her story or the outcome, because, after all, my life was impacted, too.

So, by some great rubric, I am perfect, but no mortal man represents the standard for perfection. And yet, we ought not sell ourselves (or anyone else) short of this ultimate goal.

Mirrors are set up everywhere, but so often the chance glimpse at oneself in a shiny surface leads to doubt or disappointment. We compare ourselves to the women and men in magazines, the women and men on the Forbes lists. The world tells us that there is a giant scale of perfection and, when we are pinned up against this scale, we will find our rightful place relative to everyone else around us. But the worry and stress and the eating disorders and therapy patients generated by this view are hardly worth the trouble.

I want everyone to stop. Look up. Let the world move for a moment. Know that you are useful. According to God, beauty is a byproduct of utility. It is a far better thing to allow yourself to be of aid in the world than it is to weigh yourself on that superficial scale.

Refusing to define perfection in order to tolerate the imperfect can only serve to weaken my foundation. I have chosen to build my life on a foundation of faith in God. And so, if I am to give my life over to that faith 100%, I must know that there is a divine purpose. A Way. I must believe these things with the same conviction I have in the fact that, though I am small, I am necessary in this world.

God, though I do not understand Him, is perfect. And I, made in His image, am a piece of that perfection. I am a fraction of a far greater whole. Though my personal reflection may appear incomplete, even useless in my darkest hours, in faith I can remember that when my piece is combined with the rest, I am beyond useful. Ultimately, I am exactly as He intended me to be.