Monday, January 28, 2013

Tapestry Of Life

I was on the train on my way to visit my family. On my way to see my father for the very first time. I wanted everything to be perfect. What is perfection exactly? The absence of flaw. The problem is that as humans we are not without flaw. Flaws in fact make up our character. They are indeed a part of who we are. And in fact the more we attempt to present in a flawless manner, the more likely a flaw is to show itself. A truth, simple in it's natural state, yet impossible to hide.

As I watched the landscape whiz past me as my eyes peered out the windows of the train, my hand set upon my lap. I was horrified as my fingers found a tear in my pant. How was this possible? How did this happen?

I had carefully selected what I would wear, how I would present myself.  It was flawlessly pictured in my mind's eye.  There is a saying "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him what your plans are!" Indeed God was laughing as I had no choice but to arrive flawed. I was not perfect.  And when the train stopped, I gathered my bags and my imperfections, with my head held high, I got off that train.

Once I returned home, and unpacked, I immediately sewed the tear in the fabric of my pants. Still wondering how on earth that tear had gotten there in the first place.  Clearly I had snagged it on something.

Isn't that how life works though? From time to time we snag ourselves - on something.  And usually we don't even notice it until after the fact. But God never promised us smooth sailing.  He never promised us that there would be a life without snags. That we would not be without scars or imperfection.

But that is okay.  It is our imperfections. Our flaws. Our differences; that in fact make us who we are. And it is our uniqueness, which, combined with those in our lives, enables us to weave together the tapestry of our life. Indeed the tapestry of our soul.

For each person, each experience, each snag in our lives, contributes to the final picture. And there is beauty in imperfection. Beauty in scars. For scars remind us that we are flawed. Scars induce memories. Scars are reminders of what we've survived. You know exactly where each nick and stitch on your body came from in life. That scar on your knee when you were running on the playground in grade 3.  The stretch marks on your tummy, which housed the life you had once carried within you for nine months.

Each mark, each mar is a step we've made in our lives. A part of our life's journey. A stitch on the canvas.  Just as it is with each person, be it family, friends, or even foes. Each with a purpose. Each a part of His plan. Each a colored thread woven in the ultimate painting that we admire as we look back to survey how our life is unfolding behind our very footsteps.

Scars make us survivors. Blemishes make us human. Who is to say in which direction the branch of a tree is to go? And if the branches are not even, if there is no symmetry, does that make the tree any less beautiful?  Indeed nature is perfectly imperfect. So why must we concern ourselves with chasing the unattainable? We must learn to accept ourselves for who we are, we must learn to accept others for who they are.

For the pattern presented in cracked glass is one of beauty. Such as in the pattern within our very skin. Each ring of our fingerprints. Each pour in our flesh. Unique. Put there for a reason. Just as natures engravings within the bark of a tree.  They make us stronger. More versatile. Better prepared to weather that, which is unknown but certain to make it's presence in our life.

So today as I slipped on those same pants, and my fingers found the imperfection within the smooth fabric, I was reminded of that train trip. I was reminded of the people who awaited my arrival. I was reminded of people who have come and gone from my life - throughout my life. I was reminded of all of the colored threads, which make up the tapestry of my life. And I smiled. Smiled knowing that I am unique. I am perfectly imperfect. And yet my picture remains one of beauty.