I’m sitting here staring at the side of my computer screen, where I’ve stuck one of the cutest little bookmarks I’ve ever owned. It has a picture of a mother hugging a little child, and a quote from Charles Dickens at the bottom: “It is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.” When I read that quote, it thrilled me through and through. I resolved to use that bookmark for my next reading project. Unfortunately, I failed to immediately tuck the dear little bookmark safely away, and so it lay, halfway to greatness, on my desk—at just the right height for a very cute short person (my three-year-old daughter) to spot it and pick it up.

This bookmark is one of those with three sides of a little square cut out near the top, so it can be hooked over the top of a page and stay in place. By the time I noticed that Kimberly had found it, she had pulled on and accidentally broken the top part off.

I knew this was an innocent act, of course. She hadn’t meant to tear it; she was just trying to figure the thing out. But because I had had such a special bonding experience with that bookmark, I was a bit distressed. I snatched the pieces from her and put them aside.

Later, after Kimberly was in bed, I picked up the two pieces of the bookmark and read the quote again. Suddenly the whole experience struck me in an entirely new light. Did this bookmark have to be perfect to be special? I could tape it back together and it would be as good as new—maybe even better than new because it would have something that it hadn’t had before: evidence of having been touched by those little hands that I love so dearly. Now that bookmark is twice as special to me, Scotch tape and all.

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Riches take wings, comforts vanish, hope withers away, but love stays with us. Love is God.—Lew Wallace (1827–1905)

Let us strive to see things that are as they should be; and as we live in an imperfect world, let us be content to glory in that imperfection, that each building block of the day’s events may rest upon another to form the final product of a life rich and full—not in the glassy beauty of perfection, but in the rich fullness of love.—Author unknown