Don’t Let Perfect Get in the Way of Good
Sometimes we get so caught up wishing things were perfect that we fail to move forward. The Church’s pro-life ministries seek to serve women who are unexpectedly pregnant, in crisis pregnancies, or struggling to make ends meet after giving birth, and to serve post-abortive women and men. With that in mind, this advice reminds us that, though our circumstances might not be perfect, God’s plan is always anchored in grace and goodness.
Here are some things to remember as we shine a light on the goodness of walking with moms.
Life is never perfect. Would it be “ideal” if all pregnancies took place within loving, healthy marriages in stable homes and with prepared hearts? Sure. But perfect isn’t going to happen on this side of heaven.
Pain and suffering are universal. There are no perfect parents, just as there are no perfect people. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes circumstances are totally outside our control. The more we alleviate guilt and fear in the hearts of women who are unexpectedly pregnant or in crisis pregnancies, the quicker we can help them. First, let them know we aren’t caught up on perfect. Then, we can share with them the good that God can bring, no matter the circumstances.
Good can sometimes hurt. A friend of mine has an adopted brother, and he told me something that I’ll never forget. He said casually, “Well obviously my parents adopting my brother wasn’t ideal for him.” His statement stopped me in my tracks. This was the most loving home I have personally encountered, with two incredible parents. I didn’t understand. How could he have found himself in a better situation?
My friend’s answer was simple, “Ideally, he would have been born into a loving home and stable family life, and would have never needed to be adopted. I love my brother. My parents love him. He loves all of us. But it doesn’t change the fact that, for him, there will always be pain there.”
Sometimes the good thing – the best thing – might still hurt. Empathy and compassion are paramount to the pro- life movement. Reaching out for help might be the hardest thing the person you’re trying to serve has ever done. And, sometimes, the help you’re offering hurts too.
Presence is powerful. No ministry can do everything. No service will ever be complete. Some people who need help won’t know about the ministries that can help them. And, the more cynical will always be there to tell you, “You’ve forgotten about this! You’re not doing enough!”
Don’t let perfect get in the way of good. You can’t help everyone, but you can probably help someone. You can’t do everything, but you can probably do something. Each of us can contribute. Knit a baby blanket, donate diapers, volunteer in a pregnancy center, buy coffee for that mom trying to get her double stroller through the coffee shop door, offer free babysitting for the young couple who lives next door.
You matter. Your support matters. Showing up is half the battle, so don’t sit on the sidelines. Do what you can to walk with moms, even if it seems small.
The Catholic Church wants to support and serve mothers and has many ministries devoted to providing services and material goods for moms. But don’t forget – we are the Church. Don’t say, “I’m too old” or “too young,” or “not good enough,” “not wealthy enough” or “not knowledgeable enough.” We aren’t perfect. We never will be.
But just because we aren’t perfect, doesn’t mean we can’t do some good.
Dominick Albano is The Catholic Telegraph’s director of digital engagement, an author and national speaker. He and his wife have been married for 14 years and have four sons. [email protected]
This article appeared in the July 2022 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.