It took many years for me to realize one of my ears was lower than the other. But when every pair of glasses I ever bought tipped the same direction, I finally gave up criticizing the glasses and figured it was me.
In another dimension dilemma, one leg is longer than the other. If new slacks need shortening, one side always needs a tad more than the other. Eventually I was forced to acknowledge I was just plain crooked.
But that isn’t all bad. Instead it’s an indication I was handmade, just like pottery created on a wheel, a quilt made on a stretcher or a drinking glass blown by mouth. And that’s the definition of unique: no two alike.
Although we all love handmade when it comes to home decor and baked goods, faces are another matter. In that category we strive for parallel perfection, one side mirroring the other. Years ago I had a conversation with a plastic surgeon and asked about facial symmetry. “It doesn’t exist,” he said. I suspected as much.
People, especially women, kept him in business by paying him to rearrange their asymmetrical faces, altering one side or the other to make them match. Surgical changes are tricky, though, and despite precise scalpel work, perfection remains elusive.
God creates each of us unlike anybody else. He gave us unique fingerprints, already visible on the hands of an unborn baby at 14 weeks in utero. He also designs unique irises for each of us, and even our tongue prints are one-of-a-kind.
Individuality is important to God. He could simply “poof” us into existence but instead chooses to design us. According to Scripture, he personally makes “all the delicate parts” of our bodies (Psalm 139) with thought and supernatural effort, including our symmetry or asymmetry. Surely he could put together a bodily perfect human being, and yet he doesn’t. Might it have something to do with handing us opportunities to accept his will over our own? Or possibly offering us a chance to become content with less than perfection?
I’ve been remiss over the years, whining about my physical flaws to my kids. The result of that false pride was their inaccurate opinion that I was judging them the same way, which I wasn’t. But that was the prideful part, focusing on myself. With their patient corrections, I’ve stopped self-criticizing… at least audibly.
It occurred to me my dissatisfaction with the ways God has made me unique is probably disrespectful to him, maybe even disloyal, which makes me feel awful. I hope I can eventually get it through my crooked head that being handmade by God is an incredible gift, bi-level ears and all.
“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.” (Psalm 139:15)