battles and perspectiveI pulled into the bloated parking lot looking to add one more vehicle; mine. I squeezed into an almost-too-small-to-fit-space right beside the commercial trash can. I had ten or fifteen minutes to kill sitting beside the massive and grungy receptacle. There was trash still lying around the from the last time the front loading forked truck had emptied the big square receptacle.

Dried food stains on what was once pristine wrapping flattened by tires has a very unappetizing look and smell early in the morning… The pavement just in front of the trash can, about the size of half a small car, was stained with shiny jet black oil that had spilled regularly over the years. The oil stains contrasted the old grayish white pavement everywhere else proving the might and battle victory of the sun.

The steel six-inch pipe columns filled with concrete just in front and to the sides of the block wall that surrounded the trash can were scarred and slightly bent…  Though wounded, they had won the battles with the misjudged garbage truck drivers and the not-as-lucky-as-me-people that didn’t quite make it into the narrow space that I was sitting in or the one that flanked the other side.

The curbs were weathered with some rocks showing through the concrete surface in places where the water from the sprinklers had won their battle with the hard surface. They were cracked in places, displaced in places from tires driven a little too hard against them and over them.

I had my window cracked to take in the fresh winter air… not the best spot to take in fresh air… I left the window down… I’d smelled worse. I watched and listened to the birds flying, playing, whistling, and trash diving. Too bad they didn’t know how to pick up trash…

I gazed around and pondered the fallen world and how we all play into it. The sun was out… nothing wins the battle with it… I rolled down the window on the passenger side as I sat waiting. I reached down and moved the arm rest I’d  been leaning my  right elbow on and rotated it upward.

I rummaged through my cluttered console to find my dilapidated reading glasses that had taken the abuse inside my truck much like the way the curbs and walls had been punished by bigger things around the resting place of refuse for all the occupants. I held the old glasses up to the sun, shook my head in disbelief of how scratched they were.

I blew hard on the inside of the right lens then the left, held them back to the sun knowing it would be mostly in vain. I lowered the glasses down to my stomach area, reached for the hem of my old sweatshirt and engulfed the left lens with the old soft cotton and rubbed them between my thumb and forefinger – then the right lens.

I glanced at the sweat stains still circling my collar as I tried to clean the old spectacles. I held them up to the sunny sky again, not really sure why I still have that pair of almost useless glasses still hanging around. I took one more look around to see the imperfect world through the aging eyes with the contact lenses covering both retinas before slipping the old reading glasses toward my face.

I reached over to my companion yellow legal pad of paper, setting it like a sleeping child gently onto my lap. I grabbed my pen that has the coating worn off from the battle with my hand and began to write about the wonders of God all around me.

We just gotta open our eyes…

And perspective…