Joy in the Midst of Imperfection
Like many families, we have a tradition of decorating our home for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. Every year, I climb into the attic, flashlight in hand, searching for the boxes of lights and ornaments and garland. One by one, the dusty remnants of Christmas past come down the ladder. Inside, the girls eagerly await their arrival, and when the time is right, our home is transformed into something that looks like it came out of one of those stores on the main street of a quaint little mountain town.
Once the inside is done, the ladder comes out, and we begin my favorite part: the outside of the house. There are several pieces of this that never change: the big oak tree in the front yard gets wrapped with lights, frosty gets put together and staked into the ground beneath the branches of that same towering tree, and two giant candy canes are placed proudly in the flower bed. And to top it all off, two projectors make our garage door dance with snowflakes.
This year, however, we decided to change things up just a little. Instead of lining the roof with lights, which always prompts me to double check my life insurance policy, I decided to run those same lights around a post and then on top of the fence. My plan worked perfectly, until I ran out of lights halfway down the fence. I checked my watch, hopped in the car, and raced to Home Depot.
Home Depot’s Christmas section looked like the bread aisle at HEB back in April. A visit to Lowe’s brought a little more selection, but they still didn’t have exactly what I was looking for. Our old lights were blue. All of theirs were white. I didn’t think it made much of a difference.
Apparently, it does.
Long story short, our house doesn’t look perfect this year. We have colored lights on the tree. Blue lights on the house. White lights on the fence. It looks a little like the work of an intoxicated elf.
And yet, every evening when the lights come on, I smile. They aren’t perfect, but neither are we. Our imperfect decorations remind me that Jesus didn’t come to save a perfect world, but one that was struggling under the weight of its imperfections. This year, more than any in recent memory, we are reminded that we are a people in need of a savior. We are a broken people living in a broken world, living with imperfect lives and mismatched priorities.
Jesus may not fix my lights this year, but I do trust that he will heal our world. The pandemic will still be with us in January, and so will Jesus. May the perfect love of Christ bring you joy in the midst of all that is imperfect in your life this season.