The first time I saw her, my first impression was ‘wow!’ She looked so beautiful and perfect in my eyes. Her ivory complexion was glowing, her teeth seemed so white and perfect, she had these slanted eyes and perfectly sculpted nose. Her figure was like that of an hour glass. I remember staring and wondering, ‘if I’m staring like this what will a guy now do?’ Well, she was a lot older, I was only a fresher in school then while she was a final year student. I felt that if she was that beautiful then her life must be perfect. How wrong I was.
One night, I was on my way to the cafeteria when I heard someone crying in a dark corner, by the wall of our hostel. She was huddled all alone in that corner, crying so hard I thought her chest might burst. At first, I doubted if she was really the one there but it was her glowing complexion illuminated by the bright full moon that gave her away. What could she possibly be crying about? Someone, who was the envy of all the girls in my department. Someone who was not only beautiful but also topped her class. I walked away quickly. I didn’t want her to know I saw her crying. I thought it was best to let her sort herself out alone.
I saw her again the next morning. She was walking to school with two of her friends. They were gisting and laughing gaily. There was absolutely no trace of the previous night’s tears on her face. Her shoulders were not slouched like someone passing through a difficult time. She looked as perfect as ever. I even began to wonder if the previous night was a dream.
Much like Princess, many of us have become experts at being picture perfect while inside we are far from perfect. All we do is tuck in our challenges, disappointments and disillusionments behind a perfect exterior. Someone somewhere goes to bed at night feeling envious of your perceived perfection, oblivious to what you are battling with. You could be a pastor’s wife contending with maintaining the calm exterior of one who encourages others to trust God with their problems while secretly battling with yours. You could be looking at that perfect celebrity in the magazine who’s had to go under the knife several times just to keep her career. You may even think that your friend who’s husband just bought her a brand new car is the luckiest woman in the world but you don’t see her tears at night, all alone in her bed as usual while her husband is in a hotel with one small girl. Abi you are envying that woman who is a Chief Executive in her company but you have no idea how hard she worked or what she had to give up to get there. You’re also not aware that she has no child of her own.
I’m not saying that you should delight in other people’s miseries or think that everyone who is succeeding has some form of misery in her life. All I’m saying is we are PICTURE PERFECT. That’s exactly what it is, a picture. It is the image we want to portray to the world. You could apply all the make up you want to achieve perfection but there is no make up on earth that can be used on your heart. How wonderful it is to know that there is someone to whom we can hand over our burdens. God is the one we can reveal our imperfections without reservations because He truly cares and is ready to lift your burdens – Matt 11:28. You can trust him to handle your problems. Have you spoken to him about it today?