*Illustration credit: Pascal Campion
It’s ten til six and daylight is flowing fast at your feet. Between the house and the office and the errands there are thousands of unscheduled stops where you either pull us all forward or push us back on our ass. You are one individual that this world finds both lovely and ignorable and worst of all, erasable. It may be because you’re gay, Christian, old, black, a working woman or a stay at home dad, you have your club in your corner and your bullies behind the bush. Digging ourselves out of the mess we’ve made, out of the factions we’ve set, cannot be done by some big speech or a best selling book. It takes the saints of the world, one by one, cleaning up the muck, piece by piece.
So stand still, stay steady.
Look in the mirror.
Study your eyes, your one-of-a-kind eyes. Be aware of how they move and they quiet. These are the windows to your soul and sometimes they roll back recklessly. When they do they can feel as cold as a slap to the face. Remind yourself of the moments you wish you could forget. Remember how blind you can be to the obvious and painful. How you never knew that Sue from sales felt like a ghost in this world. And maybe you did but you didn’t want all of her mess. Now drift back to that night when you felt completely lost in the mix. when someone stole you away from the party just to let you know that you’re seen. You were noticed and in a way, walked off a little less incomplete. See the invisible.
Look at your lips and unpredictable tongue. The drop-off where our sharp and soft words lock horns on the plank. Sometimes we mistake our most menacing ones for the Holy- so bite down a bit harder. Think about those words that someone once said- how they followed you from the firm to the foot of your bed. Be truthful, of course, but God help you if you don’t understand that sometimes silence is mercy. And if you feel a second-stirring, let your voice extend itself in an act of grace. Shower affection into spoiled ground. Be their warmth and willingness when the cross isn’t yours to bear.
Then there is the oddness of your ears. While they are often overshadowed by the sparkle of eyes and plumpness of lips, they are what serve you best. Listen to each word said, but all the more, hone in on every unspoken agony. All the pain they keep in the back. All the cries for help. They drop like little pins when the world is loudest. Take note of everything falling between our hellos and goodbyes.
Lastly, see all that you are. Really look. Be baffled by the artistry of God. Resist those inner analysts sighing and saying you’ve already seen your low potential attained. No, we are all still seeing through this glass darkly. And even when it feels so black and brought down, touch the tenacity and courage coursing through your veins. Exhale the breath God gave you. The world beyond the front door will try to beat all that out- so name yourself now before it tries to do it for you.
Give God your thanks because you wouldn’t want to be anyone else anyway. Bestow upon yourself the eternal identity of blessing. You are God’s child. His friend. He loves you and he likes you and if you only understand that, it is more than enough for Him.
Love and be loved today,