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Splintered Beauty

By Claudia Mannon

Like all garage sale buffs I had spent the morning driving from one garage sale to another, and was beginning to get discouraged because I hadn’t found that one special thing. You know the thing I’m talking about – that one that you have no need for but you just can’t live without. I told myself – OK – just one more stop and then I’m heading home – and there it was the buy of the century – a beautiful Tiffany style lamp. It’s variegated blue flowers and delicate leafs of deep green were perfectly positioned within the leaded panes of glass that formed the shade – there was not one color in it that would look good in any room of my house, but that didn’t matter, because I believed that I was fated to own the masterpiece and was determined that no matter what the asking price it was going home with me.

As I walked to the table to pay for the lamp, which had no price tag on it, my heart was beating rapidly. I was so afraid that the price would be far more than I had allotted for in my budget, but I decided that there would be no attempts made to bargain – this lamp was mine.

The elderly lady, at the table, had a big grin on her face and I thought – She really looks sweet but I wonder why she is smiling so much – I bet she’s going to charge me an arm and a leg for this lamp – but I don’t care – it’s mine. I sat the lamp on the table, drew a deep breath, and waited for the verdict.

When she said, "Oh you got a real bargain here – that will be $10.00 please" my legs grew weak and my knees felt as if they would buckle at any minute – so in order to protect my lamp I put my arms around its shade and silently prayed that God would keep me upright and strong.

I reached into my pocket and produced the money, smiled, and lifted the lamp from the table. Now, I really don’t think that I ran to my car, no, it was more like a very fast walk – I remember looking around, checking for other bargain hunters, before opening the back door to make sure that no one was following me with the sole purpose of snatching the lamp. I opened the door and gently placed the lamp on the back seat. It was with grace and speed that I jumped in behind the wheel and drove off as swiftly as I possibly could – after all one never knows who might decide they need just what you have found and then follow you with thoughts of high jacking your vehicle and stealing your priceless cargo.

It wasn’t until I got home and closely inspected the lamp that I found the cracks. Now, mind you they are very small and almost invisible but they are there, and they sat off a number of unexpected emotions in me. At first I was mad at myself for not noticing them before, then I was mad at the smiling lady for not telling me about the cracks, and then I got mad at myself all over again for acting so foolish. I should have known that something was not right with the whole deal. The price had been too low for such a beautifully crafted and otherwise expensive lamp, and when I thought of the way I conducted myself after finding it, I was embarrassed.

After some thought, and prayer, God reminded me that the lamp is like His children. Yes, that’s right. You see we are all flawed. Some of us wear our breaks and cracks where any and everyone can see them, but some of us (in fact most of us) keep them hidden. They may start small and grow over time or they may be large from the beginning. The point is we are all broken at some time in our lives but it’s OK, because we are all still beautiful in God’s eyes.

                Copyright Claudia Mannon


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