1509) “She’s Perfect, But…”

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     One afternoon, according to an old Sufi (Muslim) tale, Nasruddin and his friend were sitting in a cafe, drinking tea, and talking about life and love.

     ”How come you never got married, Nasruddin?” asked his friend at one point.

     ”Well,” Nasruddin said, “to tell you the truth, I spent my youth looking for the perfect woman.  In Cairo, I met a beautiful and intelligent woman, with eyes like dark olives… but she was unkind.  Then in Baghdad, I met a woman who was a wonderful and generous soul… but we had no interests in common.  One woman after another would seem just right… but there would always be something missing.  Then one day, I met her.  She was beautiful, intelligent, generous and kind.  We had everything in common.  In fact, she was perfect.”

     ”Well,” said Nasruddin’s friend, “What happened?  Why didn’t you marry her?”

     Nasruddin sipped his tea reflectively.  “Well,” he replied, “It’s a sad thing.  It seems she was looking for the perfect man.”

–As told by Rick Fields in Chop Wood, Carry Water, page 35.


James 3:2a  —  We all stumble in many ways.

Romans 3:23  —  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Ephesians 4:2  —  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

I Corinthians 13:4-7  —  Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Colossians 3:12-14  —  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.



O God, we thank you that you have given us another year of life together.  We thank you for the love which grows more precious and for the bonds which grow more close each day.  We thank you for the happiness we have known together; for the sorrows we have faced together; for all the experiences of sunshine and of shadow through which we have come together to this day.

We each ask your forgiveness for any disloyalty on our part; for any times when we were difficult to live with; for any selfishness and inconsiderateness; for any lack of sympathy and of understanding; for anything which spoiled even for a moment the perfect relationship which marriage should be.

Spare us to each other to go on walking the way of life together, and grant that for us it may be true that the best is yet to be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

–William Barclay, Scottish minister, professor, and author (1907-1978), from A Guide to Daily Prayer, page 102-103 (adapted).