Thank You Steve Harvey. A Christmas Gift Come Early.
Yesterday was a great day for me. Not because of this, the Cartwright Crew's annual tacky lights tour:
But because of this:
Anyone who came within a mouse click of social media yesterday saw the meme above. This is only one of hundreds that were shared to poke fun at Harvey for initially declaring the wrong winner of the Ms. Universe pageant Sunday night. That's right. Harvey, the host of the pageant, initially crowned Ms. Colombia the winner, then almost immediately issued one of the most awkward public apologies ever and uncrowned her in favor of the real winner - Ms. Philippines.
Talk about Christmas come early. With the world bouncing around Harvey jokes like a beach ball at Daytona, who on earth was left in the audience to draw up jokes about my imperfections. No one, that's who. Through the years I've periodically attempted perfection. Always in vain and always resulting in the same failure-laced hangover. But then occasionally guys like Harvey come along to remind me I'm not really that imperfect after all.
Me, I've only made mistakes that have scarred relationships, left my kids blamelessly absorbing the brunt of a stressed day, or led some meaningless homeless guy on the street to believe I didn't have spare change when I actually had a wad of bills I'd use to buy my kids their 38th extra "it's just a stocking stuffer" of this Christmas season. My mistakes have been no more harmful than cussing the lady out under my breath who cut in front of me in the Christmas rush checkout line at Target. Checkout lines, by the way, made unnecessarily longer by the destined to be high school dropouts working the registers. (OK, so maybe that teenager thought's a bit of a mistake too.)
But what do they really matter anyways - my mistakes. I mean, this Harvey guy announced the wrong winner of a beauty pageant. Say that again good and bold and italicized and then try to tell me I"m not the most beautiful person you know.
On second thought, save it. It won't matter. You see, no matter how hard I try to minimize my mistakes by staring and squinting onto the spotlighted stage of someone else's missteps, I always settle back down into the quiet of my own seat and come back to the same realization: I am one big, mistake-filled human being. Many days the biggest and fool-est one I know.
Thanks to the miracle of Christmas, though, I've grown to be OK with that. Not because I've fallen head over heals in love with my mistakes, but because God loves me enough to forgive them. The baby in the manger may be small, but he comes bearing a heavenly dose of grace capable of healing the world's most complex yet curable ailment - unforgiveness.
This Christmas, I hope as we chuckle over the memes - and I'll be the first to admit some of them were downright funny - I hope we'll also walk to the manger. I pray we'll accept the gift that manger came to offer: relief from the resentment we too often feel towards ourselves and others because of mistakes. We all make them, but in spite of ourselves, God wants to pour Christmas over every single one of them.
To read previous posts in this Christmas series, click below: