“For nearly 800 people have been trying to fix it, but nearly every attempt has been disastrous.
Yet somehow the tower has survived.” These were some of the opening words in a 2012 documentary on the history of the Tower of Pisa. The movie focused on the series of near-disastrous efforts which technicians and scientists have made to correct the tower or keep it from falling.
Beginning in 1838, an Italian architect named Alessandro Gherardesca attempted to fix the tower by digging out its sunken south side base. But this caused the tower to lurch to the south even more. Later, in 1933, Dictator Benito Mussolini sponsored efforts to help save the tower, but these efforts backfired as well, accelerating its rate of inclination. Other efforts followed in the 1980s and 1990s. These efforts were nearly catastrophic, bringing the tower to its worst incline ever – 5.5 degrees or 17 feet from its perpendicular. Finally, in 2013 efforts were finally successful in reducing the tower’s inline to just under 4 degrees.
One Pisan historian summarized these well-meaning efforts thusly. “This is a strange monument and one that has too many doctors trying to fix it. The tower has most often been at risk of falling down not from what ails it, but due to the mistakes of its doctors who have been exaggerating (its tilt) with their cures. In effect, the tower was in most danger when there were external interventions.”
Maybe this resonates in your own heart. Maybe you’re the kind of person that other people are always trying to “rescue” or “correct” or “straighten out” – and your only fault is that you’re different and do not fit the mold others believe you should squeeze into.
Well, if this is so, then remember this. If the Leaning Tower of Pisa wasn’t tilted it wouldn’t be one of the most famous structures in the world. It wouldn’t have millions of visitors every year and the people of Pisa wouldn’t be very proud of it.
Also remember this. If you suffer more from the well-meaning “doctors” trying to cure you than from your “tilted-ness” than from your so-called problem, you’re not alone. Our organizations, our workplaces, and our churches are filled with people who have been repeatedly wounded by self-appointed “correctors” who view themselves as the ideal specimen of what a person should be. In reality, God created you with a tilt and has a purpose for it. It’s what makes you special.
God Himself made you to His own specifications. Your personality, attributes, talents, gifts, gender, color, voice, and body configuration are all of His choosing. If someone else has complaints about you, just tell them, “I like who I am and, even more important, God likes who I am, since He created me.” Always refer critics to the Creator. The Apostle Paul’s message for such people is this: “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4).
When we stand before Christ’s judgment seat, He isn’t going to ask us, “Why weren’t you like Mr. or Mrs. Perfect?” but “Why weren’t you more like the person I created you to be?” Be the person – with all your distinctive gifts – who God made you to be, to reach and bless those whom no one else can.
Dear Father in heaven, I just seem to be the kind of person everyone wants to fix. I am so weary of everyone else’s scrutiny and probing. Into Your loving embrace I flee. Please accept me through Your Son Jesus Christ, heal my wounded heart with Your love, and fashion me into the person of Your dreams. Amen.
(Information from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gTq4WggLp0; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/12/tower-of-pisa_n_3744338.html; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaning_Tower_of_Pisa)