It grabbed my attention.
I was perusing the aisles of Family Dollar, looking for snacks, deodorant, and other important dorm life materials when I saw her- Lady White. There she sat on a pitiful shelf with other discounted items. They were the leftovers that no one wanted. She was slender and delicate, painted a pure shade of ivory. But she was reduced because she didn't have a lampshade. I didn't care, a light was all that I needed.
I was at Bible school at the time, and my lamp had died. Not even changing the light bulb, wiggling the cord, or hitting the base helped to revive its spirit.
So, I knew that God had placed Lady White on the shelf just for me. I searched the rest of the store for lampshades, but none fit my newly acquired light. I gave up, and walked out of the store quite happy with my find.
I took her back to my dorm and set her on my shelf. Finally I had light for those late night studies. I could have something to turn on when the main light went off and I needed to find my way through the dark to my bed.
But people couldn't understand Lady White. They laughed and commented about how incomplete and ugly she was without her lampshade. Whoever kept a light around with no shade?
Then someone said, "Guess what, I saw a lamp shade at a garage sale next door. I think it would fit your light perfectly!"
I grabbed my money and started across the driveway. There it was. Ivory colored, pleated, and just the right size for Lady White.
Once I put the two together, everyone then admired Lady White. The hurtful comments stopped; for Lady White had found her partner.
Now that I'm home, I made sure I put Lady White at a special place in my room. Whenever I see her, I have to stop and think.
Lady White is just like every single woman. People have a way of putting us on the reduced and leftover pile because we are "missing our partner". Family and friends think we look awkward and incomplete. Sometimes we get so desperate to change our singleness, that we go traipsing through the available lampshade aisle. We are desperate for any shade- even if it clashes with our ivory hue or completely covers the beauty of our light. We grab the easiest lampshade, but it doesn't make a perfect fit.
I wonder if Lady White ever tried the other lampshades that I saw at Family Dollar? I wonder if she ever considered giving away her light bulb- her most valuable possession- so that she could be a match with a lampshade that only wanted her light bulb and not truly her?
But I think that Lady White came to realize that she was truly valuable. She glowed and brightened a room more than if she would have had a hastily-picked partner. Everyone could see the beauty of her- shining clearly and undimmed. She didn't pout and turn off her light because she was different from other lamps. She did her very best where she was put, and she shone and shone and shone.
And when the perfect lampshade came her way, she accepted it as a new step in her life and not merely a completion.
Sometimes I wish that I still had the old Lady White without the lampshade; because not every girl will find a partner. Sometimes God has a plan for them to shine unhindered and focused solely on glorifying Him and helping others. But then I'm reminded that neither singleness or marriage is better than the other. We start to look at our marital/single status as what defines us instead of allowing God's beauty shining through us to define us.
Thanks Lady White for reminding me that happiness and value isn't dependent on whether I have a lampshade or not, but on whether I am shining my very best and enjoying where God has placed me!