Have you ever ordered something online or bought something at the store, only to discover it’s damaged once you have left the establishment or opened the package?
It’s frustrating and I am the type of person who hates retuning things so I will debate for hours, days, and weeks about sending it back, returning it, or assessing if I can live with the damage. I’ve had this scenario play out enough that now, years later, if I receive something that isn’t in the condition I was expecting I would take time to get a replacement. That works great for THINGS but not so much for our LIVES.
No matter how we look at it, we all have been damaged. Some more than others, and because we live in a fallen world where perfection is not attainable we have to live with that wreckage. We can’t return, exchange or get a refund on lives due to the imperfection that is there. We have to assess the damage and realize that we indeed have to live with it.
So when do flaws and mistakes become something that we can embrace and appreciate? It is simply when we stop looking at them as flaws and begin to see the beauty that is within them. I was struggling with this concept just this morning as I sat down at our dining table drinking coffee. Sitting there, I realized that I LOVED my table and if someone walked into our house and said they would buy all our furniture and give me all new items our table would be a non-negotiable.
Why? Our table isn’t new, it’s been scratched, refinished, has chips on the legs and some teeth marks where our puppy used it as a chew toy. It has been the gathering place for family meals, and game nights with friends. It has heard endless conversations over copious amounts of coffee. It’s withstood the brunt of school science fair projects and Valentine’s box decorating. It’s been the resting place for heads buried in arms as sobs racked bodies due to grief. In all the transitions we have faced as a family, I have never pictured our living space without it. It’s a part of our history and the marks, scratches; dings and nicks, all tell a story about Team Bohl. Looking at my perfectly imperfect table I understood that our damage becomes beautiful, when we embrace the fact that it’s our story, a piece of us, a mark of history and not merely imperfections or wreckage.
Antiques are not expensive or irreplaceable due to their pristine condition. They are valuable because of the amount of TIME they have survived. Our lives will never be damage free, and we can not return or exchange them; however, we can view them as beautiful because the flaws say ” Look at what we have endured, look at how we are still going, still here, still surviving and still thriving.”
That is when we becoming stunningly strong and exchange our ashes for a thing of beauty.