Have you ever found a picture of love where you least expect it?
The weekend market in the town of Sandwich on Cape Cod offered one-of-a-kind treasures of dubious value.
At the entrance we found homegrown tomatoes and corn and fresh-baked cookies. Most of the merchandise, though, was old. Rusted. Worn. Chipped. I wandered around the dirt field thinking most of these sellers were surely too optimistic. Would anyone really want the out-of-date items strewn on tattered blankets?
Here’s an erector set, vintage 1920s. My dad played with just such a set when he was growing up. My grandma kept the metal pieces in a toy box and dragged them out during my childhood visits. For me, this precursor to Legos was instant nostalgia in a box. But what kids would want to play with these ancient pieces?
Then one stuffed bear caught my eye. See the tall, formerly-distinguished tan guy in the battered cardboard box?
Someone took the trouble to pin on his torn ear. He wasn’t thrown out. He was mended.
In fact, his current owner believes he still has value, safety pin included. He is worth something. He is displayed for all to see.
We may know what it feels like to be torn, though the wounds are internal and invisible. Our ears may be fine but our hearts may have been ripped and unraveled. We may have some chips and dents and maybe the music that once filled our days fell silent.
Are you a safety-pinned person? That’s okay. I’m one, too. In God’s eyes, though, we are distinguished. We are worth an infinite price. We can sit up tall and smile at the world. Never mind the safety pins. Never mind the past that wore away shiny perfection. Remember this today: you’re loved, torn parts and all. And it’s never too late for the music to begin again.