When We Make a “Perfect” Mistake

Dear Reader:

When we look back over past mistakes and recognize, in hindsight, that a particular mistake was definitely a personal, teachable lesson…we are satisfied with the knowledge. But, sometimes a mistake can be a “perfect” mistake…I know it sounds completely like an oxymoron statement but God Winks filter through our daily mistakes also.

The following true story is a prime example of this….

“A Perfect Mistake”

My mother’s father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to orphanages in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what had happened; the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!

The Great Depression was at its height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was really upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. “It’s not fair,” he told God as he drove home in frustration. “I’ve been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this.”

Months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather’s small church in Chicago.

The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. “But most of all,” he said, “I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses wedged between two blankets.

The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: “Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that.”

The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas. But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.

Source: From Functions of Providence

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This story reminded me of someone I met accidentally when I returned the day after the Easter Service to see if my sunglasses were in the lost and found bin. I was so absorbed in hanging onto Jakie during the service…(we all left quickly following the last song) that I walked right out of church without them.

I had to wear my bunny sunglasses all day Easter since I didn’t have my regular sunglasses.

I still remember when I bought these sunglasses from a gift shop that went out of business soon after (almost a decade ago)…I thought the clerk told me the glasses were a one-digit price…until she reached for my card and said the amount…an 0 was on the right side of the number. I almost fainted.

I had and never have ever paid that much for a pair of sunglasses. I was so befuddled and embarrassed I went on with the transaction chastising myself silently over and over. But you know what? I still have those sunglasses whereas before…I bought the Dollar General ones by the gross and lost them by the gross. I have never held on to anything in my life as long as I have these sunglasses.

(Walsh always teases me that they look like Elton John glasses with the bling decorations on the side…but every now and then a young person will give me a puzzled look and say “Cool glasses lady”…the highest compliment from a teenager or young adult.)

So every time you have seen me in sunglasses in photos…which is a lot… you will recognize the same glasses. Rarely I might change out for a day or two but then I always go back to them.

Monday morning I went to the church office to check…but everyone was gone…as I started to walk out another young man stopped me and asked if he could help me. I explained that I had left my sunglasses under my seat at the Easter Service the day before. He had a key to the sanctuary and said he knew where they would be placed temporarily in the foyer. Sure enough…they were sitting on a table by the back wall. I thanked him again for all the trouble and he assured me it was nothing and he was happy to do it.

I asked him what happened to lost and found items that were never claimed? He said they were given to charities/shelters in the hopes that someone might just need that exact item…and he concluded,“It is strange, but you know, it usually works out just that way. “A personal need is met.”

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So until tomorrow…Always look for “perfect” mistakes…it is just a guardian angel ‘taking from Peter to pay Paul.’ 🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Yesterday I talked about the simple beauty of a white daisy in a clear plain vase…well guess what Sam and Donna. One of the Stokes Aster Daisies (pure white) is starting to bloom with all the recent showers we have had. It is gorgeous!

The most beautiful pale yellow day lily has popped up and a couple of new additions to the garden to continue diversifying sizes, colors, and styles. Another Stokes Aster is just about to pop….will see if it is white or a different color. ( I love waiting for buds to bloom to find out a color…it is like listening to “Pop Goes the Weasel” while winding the Jack in the Box!)

Happy Wedding Day Prince Harry and Meghan! May 19, 2018

 

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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