Expectation, Reality, and Hope

Recently, a former student of mine found a typo in a book. Normally this would thrill me. I love seeing my students apply what they’ve learned–especially post-graduation. This time was different, however. This time the book was mine.

“I found a typo in your book.”

Her comment sparked an inner war.

Obviously, I make no mistakes; therefore, she must be wrong. But she can’t be wrong. She’s my student. She knows her stuff. To doubt her is to doubt the quality of her English education, which I can’t do. I was her English education. Besides, I want to be proud of her. In a small way, she’s an outflow of me. But so is my book.

Moments like these underscore two basic truths. First, we desire perfection. Because we’re made in the image of a perfect God, we keenly feel the tension between that desire and the reality of our lives. We are completely incapable of the perfection we require. Every day, in incalculable ways, we fall short.

I’m not just talking here about sin, although that’s also true. I’m talking more about faulty memories, missed turns, slips of the tongue, and yes–even typos.

What do we do when we’re forced to confront our own inadequacy?

We thank God that once, there was a Person who held it together. Though he suffered the same human frailty we battle every day, he surpassed expectations, ushered in a new reality, and is our source of hope.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16

Without the hope of mercy and grace found in Jesus, the frustration and shame of our own inadequacy would crush us.

Fortunately, because Christ was perfect, we don’t have to be. He freed us from the frustration of trying to meet an impossible standard.

Our hearts can rest in him.

~  ~  ~

For more information on my books, see here. To read along and check for typos, see here.

What’s the best/worst typo that you’ve ever found in a book or–perish the thought!–caught in your own work? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Happy Monday, everybody!

8 thoughts on “Expectation, Reality, and Hope

  1. This is profound and TIMELY! God has spoken to me through you, through THIS post specifically — not bc of typos in my work, but bc of “typos” in my life, in my failed marriage, and in my eternally chatty personality. I’m thankful for this redemption of YOUR actual typo. I know you shared this experience to encourage your readers in their efforts to walk a life that pleases the Lord. You have successfully reached your goal! Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my favorite typos (found in a pre-historic draft of my novel) was, “I come here a lot to think, to prey.” I meant pray, but yanno, that typo sent the whole scene into a really creepy direction. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, Ruth. What a twist for you as a reader’s ENGLISH teacher who, praise God, puts her good education to use…AND who is bold enough to point it out. Imagine one who was too timid to say anything. I am encouraged today with the truth that I serve a God Who makes no mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

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