Imperfect

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Every Christmas I am reminded
of the gift that imperfection can be.
I don’t mean that I look on the bright side
and make lemonade out of lemons.
No positive thinking or mental wrangling is required.
Every Christmas I am reminded
of the literal gift
(“Here, this is for you!  Open it!! Isn’t it cool?  Do you love it?  Yay!”)
imperfection can be.

I have interesting vision.
I don’t know how my optometrist describes it on my chart,
(possibly “darn complicated”),
but in my words, I have interesting vision.
One eye sees far and one sees near.
This has worked great until the mid-forties slide,
when suddenly raisins on the floor look like bugs
and I pick up a Lego thinking it’s an earring.
Now I wear glasses, and my prescription is detailed,
and kind of eternal, since we haven’t gotten it right yet,
and I do a lot of head-bobbing during hymn singing in church,
trying to see the words just right,
frequently concluding by giving up,
mentally cussing,
and taking my glasses off to sing.

This doesn’t lend a very spiritual element
to Sunday services,
in case you were wondering.

However, this imperfection of mine
is a real blessing at Christmastime.
When I take off my glasses and look at a Christmas tree with my right eye,
every light is a spangledy, twinkly star.

It is gorgeous.
It is much prettier than looking at a Christmas tree the normal way.
The tree becomes magical,
soft at the edges,
almost alive with sparkliness,
the colors deep and shimmering,
the edges flowing into one another,
making brand-new colors
right on the spot.

I love it,
and I do it as often as possible.
But it is an unasked-for gift.
Meaning, if someone had inquired at the beginning of my life,
would you like wonky vision?
of course I would have said no.
But I love my sparkly Christmas tree eyesight,
though I forget about it at other times of the year.
Every Christmas it is a new gift,
one which I am delighted afresh to have.

***
This metaphor is far too large
for one small poem,
so I will leave you with this:
had I been the sole author of my own life,
I would not have written the story with me having quirky vision.
Had I been the sole author of my own life,
I would have written a lot of things differently.
But this imperfection has a flip side;
this flaw contains blessing.

At Christmas,
and at every moment,
how silently the wondrous gift is given —
many times not looking like a gift at all,
at first.

So at Christmas,
and at every moment,
may we have hearts that are open,
and may we be grateful receivers
who see sparkly grace
everywhere we look.

 


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