Through Broken Glasses

“Hey babe, keep an eye on the girls while I get dressed.”

Sound familiar? It seems that every parental story about destruction starts off this way. 

As I walked out of the bathroom, I found my glasses broken in three places. My sweet and darling husband, sitting directly beside my two year old, was just as surprised as I was. In my wild child’s hands were two pieces of plastic both with the glasses removed from the frame. Considering this was the Bradley Christmas and we were supposed to be heading to the meeting room soon, I didn’t have time to solve it. Blurry would be my morning, and I didn’t think twice as we moved to open gifts and enjoy family time.

I squinted the entire morning. I couldn’t see a dang thing. My vision was blurred, but life moved on. I tried so hard to take everything in, but I found myself losing sight of the morning and focusing on everything that I couldn’t see or enjoy. Everyday, those glasses had provided me with clarity of the world around me. I was missing them, and it had only been a few hours.

This is when it hit me. Why had I not problem solved the crap out of the situation? Tape...glue...I just needed them to function. Looks didn’t matter at this point; their function to correct my vision was more important. I could make those babies work.

A whole lot of patience, a steady hand, and a few pieces of clear magic tape later, my glasses were as good as new. Maybe not as good as new, but they would get me through. They had changed, but they still allowed me to see clearly the beauty that was around me. It had just taken some tender love and care paired with some good, old-fashion tape work. I had to be more gentle with them, but they were glasses. They functioned; I could finally see. The morning was beautiful... even the blurry parts.

Driving down the road, I started to reflect on our Christmas, and I couldn’t help but think about my glasses. I took them off and looked at the repairs. These glasses were 2020 life. 

2020 began just like my trip, hopeful and full of expectations for greatness. A few months later, the world had come to a screeching halt; it was as if everything had stopped. Our “glasses” had broken. Life became full of fear and uncertainty. Clarity ceased. A clear vision of our future was impossible. And yet, life went on even during the fear, sorrow, and sadness.

Eventually, we decided to tape up the brokenness caused by COVID, and we began to see, even in the uncertainty of our repairs, the beauty of humanity. 

Through the lenses of quarantine, I saw my daughters grow for five months. I saw them learn from home. I saw them love each other and create a bond that is unbreakable. I also saw them duke it out like two boxers fighting for a title. I saw my husband’s creativity as a father as he created “swimming pools” out of garbage cans. I saw yoga and dance classes with my girls right in our living room thanks to modern technology. I saw pictures of neighbors loving neighbors. I saw them smile behind the mask at one another as we passed by. I saw people give like never before to help those in need. I saw my family sing-along to our favorite Disney songs. I saw post after post of humanity rising to the challenge of serving others. I saw love in the smallest gestures, and I saw love in the grandests of gestures. I saw time stand still as these beautiful moments unfolded. 

We laughed. We cried. We raged against the restrictions of our new world. And when we decided to repair, as best we could, what was broken, we saw beauty. We saw beauty that has never been seen before. 

2020...we all celebrated its end, but we will never forget the gifts received when we saw clearly through our taped-up glasses. 

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