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Luke 18:19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”

You know the expression, “She really puts her heart and soul into her work.” For Native people that is not an exaggeration. The work of your hands is also the work of your soul. It is a reflection of that creative spirit we talked about yesterday, given by the Creator himself.

The works of our hands are part of our spirituality.

We do not make these items on our own. We form them in partnership with creation.

A woodcarving came from a tree that laid down its life so that we could have life—and beauty. An earthenware pot requires a special type of clay. Potters might go to the same riverbank where ancestors have been digging clay for generations. The ancestors cheer them on as they form their pots. Pine needles for baskets might be gathered from a spot where someone took their vision quest.

That adds a lot of meaning, but it can also add a lot of pressure.

Have you ever made a pie by Grandmas recipe, step by step—only to have the family announce, “It’s good… but not as good as Granny used to make.” What if that basket was supposed to look just Granny’s basket? What if the wood carving was supposed to be used in a tribal ceremony? What if everyone was counting on you to make something perfect?

When you put your heart into something it is easy to also put your worries and your cares.

That is why Diné (Navajo) weavers always leave a hole or some imperfection in their work. It takes away the stress of wondering if the weaving will be perfect.


The Diné say none is perfect but God. Letting go of the desire for perfection allows the weaver to relax and have a good spirit as she works. Other native craftspersons leave a “spirit path,” in their pottery—an imperfection in the glaze or pattern to let pride and other bad thoughts find their way out of the vessel.

Today machines can weave rugs that are perfect every time. They are cheaper and easier to produce than hand looms can ever be. But they have no soul.

If you ever want to know if a Native craft item is authentic, just look to see if it is perfect. Machines make things that are perfect. People make things with an ingredient that machines can never match.


The works of our hands are not perfect. The people who use them are not perfect either. But love covers a multitude of faults and imperfections.

Maybe God wants us to give up our search for perfection. Maybe—just maybe—God wants us to share love instead.

O God, your love is perfect. Teach me to trust that your perfection is more than enough for my imperfections. Let all my anxieties fly away, and let my hands create love today.