I have a tendency to get emotionally attached to my appliances. There is visual and physical contact every single day. They make my life better and easier and more convenient. They don’t ask much back from me. What’s not to love?
So when my fridge started making an especially loud and obnoxious noise last weekend, I mourned a little, knowing instinctively that our time together had come to an end.
But the sadness didn’t last long. I had adopted this particular appliance with the house. Actually, upon reflection, I realized that I had inherited from someone every refrigerator I had ever owned. So as I dragged into the appliance section of my local home improvement store way too early on a Saturday morning which had way too many other things on its agenda, I cheered up a bit knowing this would be my first fridge ever that was chosen by me for me.
At my age, that’s sayin’ somethin’.
On Sunday morning, my calendar cleared yet again to allow for next-day delivery, I watched the clock tick past the time I should have gotten called. Finally, I called the store.
[Note: This post could easily de-evolve into a rant about the business ethic of my local home improvement store. Or about business ethics in general. Or phone etiquette. Or unfulfilled promises or obligations. Or interpersonal communication. Or trust issues. Or how much coffee it truly takes to get through the purchase of a major appliance. But I shall do here what I have determined to do next time I’m tempted to enter aforementioned store to purchase anything ever again: I shall refrain.]
As it turns out, the reason my fridge was late in coming was when they unboxed it at the store, they noticed a scratch on the bottom of the door. It’s a dark color and the scratch is about three inches long. Therefore, it was, by their standards, undeliverable.
I disagreed – vehemently – the noises of my dying fridge ringing in my ear. They finally agreed to deliver it to the house for my perusal, and if I decided I could “live with” the scratch, they would knock another twenty-five percent off the cost.
Wait. Twenty-five percent. That’s one-fourth, if I remember my math right.
I don’t care if the bottom of the door had been kicked in and painted neon green. Twenty-five percent off?? For that, my emotional attachment is elevated to downright maternal possessiveness.
As it turns out, the scratch is just that – a scratch. Barely noticeable. I took a picture of it and sent it to my kids with the caption: “This is what $X00 looks like.”
At first as I passed by my brand new, personally-chosen fridge, I would glance at that scratch and smile, recognizing its value. Now, I don’t even see it. The value of the fridge isn’t in its imperfection, it’s in my overall appreciation for the whole thing. I don’t think of it as less than perfect. For me, it IS perfect.
Somebody cue the God Stuff music.
Of the concepts difficult to grasp in my life, the most unimaginable has been that God looks on me and smiles. He sees a perfect me. Indeed, He sees His Son. It’s hard not to cringe at the thought. All I see are the scratches, the imperfections, the dents and scars, some of them painted neon green.
And I didn’t come to him at a discounted price. Rather, it was the highest of prices. But He chose me anyway, the least deserving and multiply-scarred, at the ultimate cost of the life of His own Son.
As He gazes at me, He, this magnificent Abba Father, He sees His personally-chosen child. And as He looks on me, He smiles with paternal love and possessiveness. And the more I accept His invitation and allow those arms to surround and envelope me, the less dented I feel and the less I notice my own scars and scratches.
One day, my lovely new fridge and I will part company and I’ll upgrade to a newer, better model. How comforting – how impossibly, amazingly, unbelievably comforting – to know that Abba and I will NEVER part company. And yet one day I surely will be upgraded to a newer, better model.