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A couple of months ago, I went to Hawaii to spend a week visiting my daughter. I love to go to the beach in the early morning whenever I visit, so I can marvel at the Island’s beauty as I watch the ocean’s waves rise and fall upon the sandy shore. But on this particular morning, my attention shifted away from the water and onto the many plants thriving around the beach. As I took a closer look, I noticed that the flowers of a certain plant appeared to be missing half of their pedals. I remember a few years ago when I went to Maui, as I was on a garden tour offered by the hotel, a tour guide told us a story about this flower.
Legend has it that a Hawaiian princess known as Naupaka had fallen in love with a man named Kaui. Unfortunately, Kaui was not of noble birth, and the couple was forbidden from staying together. Naupaka and Kaui traveled long distances to find a way around this obstacle and found themselves speaking to a kahuna at a temple. He merely told them to pray at the temple, and they did as told. While the two lovers said their goodbyes, rain fell from the sky. As a final gesture of love, Naupaka tore the flower in her hair in half, one piece for each of them. As one departed for the beach with the other destined to stay in the mountains, the surrounding plants were pained by the lovers’ grief. So pained that they would never bloom full flowers again, only half flowers, dotting Hawaii’s beaches and mountains forever.
As I was looking at the flowers, I said loudly for the world to hear: “These are imperfect!” After saying this, my mind flashed to the image of a boy from the famous story of “Shaya.” Shaya’s father was struggling to find God’s perfection, until one day, a boy’s baseball team risked their chances of victory to let his disabled son play. Unfortunately Shaya’s disability prevented him from engaging in sports most of the time, so his father feared Shaya’s rejection when he asked to play baseball that day. To his surprise, the boy’s baseball team welcomed Shaya with open arms. Toward the end of the game, the opposing team was even cheering Shaya on, encouraging him all the way to scoring the winning home run. It was that day that Shaya’s father knew he had found God’s perfection.
Upon remembering this story I suddenly I realized that I had no right to make such a judgment of these half-pedaled flowers. At first glance, when we look at Shaya, we may not see God’s perfection. But, as we look closer, we see that he inspired immense love, empathy and compassion from the other kids in the baseball game. Within the love that shined upon Shaya, God’s perfection can be found.
In the eyes of man, both this flower and Shaya may not seem perfect. But through such perceived imperfections, God provides us with ultimate perfection – the power to love and accept one another. I was ashamed of having thought of these flowers as being imperfect, especially when so many others must of overlooked their beauty. I came to realize that judgment only prevents us from living with an open heart. When we live with an open heart we can see that everything is perfect in its own way; it may just take us time to realize it.
As I pondered the perfection of God, it dawned on me this is how miracles comes about, through the giving and receiving of love. It was the giving of love by those teammates that provided the miraculous opportunities for Shaya to play ball and score the game-winning homerun. It was also the love of Naupaka and Kaui that provided such a uniquely perfect flower for the people on the island of Maui to enjoy.
Wayne Dyer Reads The Shaya Story