This is an ugly lampshade. When I bought it, I astounded even the store owners. "You're going to pay that much...for that? Really?" (It cost about the same as a nice lunch.) They had only stocked the items as a sort of favor. I assured them, "It's ok. I have friend who loves ugly things. You have no idea how perfect this gift is, and how much she will love it." I don't think they were convinced. But that's ok.
Upon initial review, it just looks quirky. Orange and blue maze fabric? Ok. Creatively colored chicken? Um, sure. But stick a light bulb underneath the quirky shade, and it just looks like trash. Because that's what it is -- half of a discarded plastic bottle with a bit of paint and paper.
What makes it perfect and beautiful for my friend is the story behind it. The lampshade was made by street children in Uganda, and the proceeds from the sale go to a charity that is helping them to make their life better. (Though, I think my friend would love it even without the story. She really does love ugly things.)
I feel a camaraderie with this lamp shade. Upon initial review I'm colorful and quirky. But illuminate me to the core and all my flaws become starkly apparent. And it's not all that pretty. But that's part of the testimony right? I have a story. I've been picked up and re-purposed. Every time I let that light shine through my flaws and weaknesses, it's a chance for me to share that story. (You paid how much? For that?) And the proceeds go to further a cause that brings life and hope into the dark places of this world.
I'm loved...just as an ugly lampshade...chickens and mazes and all. My story is just the bonus and a chance to share the light.
I'm so thankful I have a friend who loves ugly things.