Dented, Part II

The following comment was posted in response to a piece I shared some time ago on the NightShift blog:

Well told Mac. Sometimes our dents tell a story about us or where we have been. Some of us wear our dents with pride, some hide them in shame. Either way, I’m of the mind that doesn’t like to mend those dents as they are reminders to me. Each time I see them, they help me remember both the happy & the sad times that allowed me to put them there.
I hope I’m on par with your story.
:) – Ryan

What Ryan said, about wearing our dents, came to mind this week as I’m struggling with making tough ministry decisions. Without going into specifics, I’m wondering if I’m equipped enough to do all that which God has called me to do. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed, especially when I’m in the heat of the battle.

My conversation this morning with Papa was similar to Moses’ appeal to God in Exodus 33: 12 to ‘guide him clearly along the way that He wanted him to travel so that he would understand God and walk acceptably before Him’ (my paraphrase). I’m asking Papa to do the same for me in the midst of my ‘dentedness’ – so aware of my humanness.

I wonder how many others feel dented as they struggle along life’s journey. I’d love to hear from some of my ‘fellow-denters’ today! Here’s the original post as a reminder:

NightShift outreach

The line up tonight never seemed to end. It was one thirsty traveller after the other, eyes diverted, hearts turned inward, always polite. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’. Hesitant smiles and nods responding to my, “What’s your name?” or “You have beautiful eyes” or “Thank you for waiting and being patient”…

One question rose above the clatter. “It’s okay to be dented. Right?”

A statement more than a question, then a pause. Waiting, begging for acknowledgement.

Caught off-guard, I stopped pouring iced-tea. I turned in the direction of the question and looked straight into a pair of deep brown eyes. Beautiful. A strange question! It caused me to pause – a Selah moment.

“Yes,” I answered, without thinking. It is okay to be dented. I was pretty sure it was okay to be dented because I often felt dented myself. Less than perfect. My honest answer sparked a smile and her eyes danced. She was heard, listened to. Understood. Valued.

I’ve often said over the years that each time I come to the street, I leave with a nugget. Her question tonight was my nugget.

As I rinsed off my dinner plate hours later, her question popped into my mind once again. Like a flash, an image of the front passenger side of my car popped into my thoughts. It had been accidentally dented a few months back.

Every time I glance at it, I have this crazy urge to get it fixed. It bothers me more than I care to admit. It’s not like I drive a fancy car. My truck is 14 years old, boasting almost 400,000 kilometres. I’m very grateful for the blessing of the ride, but somehow it now feels tarnished. It has this dent thing going on reminding me of its imperfection.

True confession? I’m a recovering perfectionist.

Tonight was a mind/heart altering moment. God reminded me that we are not perfect vessels. He loves us just the way we are – tarnished, broken, tired and messed up. And yes! Dented.

My old Ford Explorer has been faithful over the years. It’s okay she has a dent. Just like my new street friend. And just like me.

It is okay to be dented!


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