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The Perfect Mistake
Grandpa Nybakken loved life—especially when he could play a trick on somebody. At those times, his large Norwegian frame shook with laughter while he feigned(假装) innocent surprise, exclaiming, “Oh, forevermore!” But on a cold Saturday in downtown Chicago, grandpa felt that God played a trick on him, and grandpa wasn’t laughing.
Mother’s father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to an orphanage abroad. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. He remembered putting them there that morning, so he drove back to the church. His search proved fruitless.
When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what happened. The glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand-new glasses were heading for China!
The Great Depression was at its height, and grandpa had six children. He had spent twenty dollars for those glasses that very morning.
“It’s not fair,” he told God as he drove home in frustration. “I’ve been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this.”
Several months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough(休假) in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him, so he came to speak on Sunday night at my grandfather’s small church in Chicago. Grandpa and his family sat in their customary seats among the sparse(稀疏的，稀少的) congregation(人群，教堂里的会众).
“But most of all,” he said, “I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year.”
“Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staffed removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top.”
The missionary(传教士，此处指孤儿院院长) paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued, “Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom-made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that!”
The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought, there were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas.
But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter(真主耶稣，耶稣曾经也是一名木匠) had used him in an extraordinary way.
1. play a trick on sb 开某人的玩笑
2. He feigned innocent surprise, exclaiming,”…” 他假装毫不知情地大叫……
3. He reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. 他伸手到衬衣的口袋里掏眼镜，却发现眼镜不见了。
4. His search proved fruitless. 结果一无所获。
5. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what happened. 他仔细地回忆着自己之前的每个举动，知道到底是怎么一回事了
6. The glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates. 原来，眼镜不小心从口袋里滑落，掉进了一个箱子里。
8. Grandpa and his family sat in their customary seats among the sparse congregation. 稀稀疏疏的人群中，外公和他的家人们就坐在他们常坐的位子上。
9. The missionary(传教士，此处指孤儿院院长) paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued…院长停顿了好一会儿，来让人们充分理解他的意思。然后，他继续说下去，仍旧感触于这个不可思议的奇迹….
1) The nation is gripped by the dramatic story.
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