“You look like Rudolph!” The mid-winter cold snap had finally given way to warmer temperatures. Time to have some fun in the snow this early January evening with a couple of the small fry that weave both magic and mischief throughout the hours of my days.
As the boys cavorted in the snow and careened downhill on their sleds just beyond the flood of light from the porch, I felt young and free, fresh and rosy cheeked. But . . . Rudolph!? Ouch! Reality check. I remembered that growing up, all my friends and sisters and cousins got the rosy cheeks while I got a rosy nose. Apparently some things never change no matter how many cells we slough off and renew.
I tried not to let the frank observation concern me too much, but I did have to wonder how he had noticed my nose in the darkness. Was I lighting up the eastern sky? Could I have led Santa’s sleigh?
We don’t get to choose from the gene pool. In my case I inherited a smaller frame from the waist down from one side of the family and a few extra and stubborn pounds from the waist up from the opposite side of the family. Unfair! But I have a friend who received the opposite combo from her family tree and she also cries ‘unfair’.
My rosy nose wasn’t the only heartbreaking imperfection that marred my childhood. Other kids had hair that curled or at least stayed in some sort of order. Mine was “baby fine” and therefore uncontrollable. To my sorrow, I perceived when I looked in the mirror that I had got me a face that needed all the help it could get, along with hair that simply wasn’t up to the difficult task of flattering a face.
I loved to sing and I could sing loud. The choir director listened carefully to see (oops . . . .I mean “hear”) where the sour notes were coming from. And he always asked me to keep quiet during the high notes. Hmm, what did he mean by off-key? I didn’t know that you needed a key to sing with. I guessed I must have lost my key somewhere. I seemed to have a predisposition to lose keys anyway. (I am sure even after all these years that I still hold the record for lost locker keys.)
Due to a lack of self-esteem along with a lack of theological or biological savvy, I finally figured out what was wrong with me. I had simply been made from leftover parts by an inexperienced angel.
“Vanity, vanity, all is vanity,” laments the writer of Ecclesiastes. How true. God uses His Word to set us straight. Near the end of the final chapter of Ecclesiastes is the perfect summary. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” In the natural I still carry the same genes, only older, and I never did find where I put that singing key. But through His healing and His love I can say with the Apostle Paul “. . . that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.” Aren’t we glad this world with all its imperfections isn’t the whole story? And aren’t we glad for the gift of humor that makes it all more bearable! A grand design after all, don’t you think?