8.23

The sky was blue.

The sun was bright.

The clouds were soft.

And the earth shook.

A friendly reminder from the Creator.

“…the earth trembled and stood silent before You.”

-Psalm 76:8

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Un

I had my first experience with un when I was about 8.

Accompanied by her mother, my best friend Keisha and I went to see a movie on a cold January afternoon.

The film was stupid and I remember not really wanting to see it. But it was her birthday and what the birthday girl wants, the best friend does to make her happy.

While leaving the movie, a man approached Keisha’s mother, gushing over how gorgeous Keisha was.

I could have easily been her daughter, too.

But the praise didn’t go to me.

It went to her.

The encounter was brief but I recall watching them interact while I thought to myself,

 

Why didn’t he say I was pretty?

 

That’s the day I first met un and carried it home in my lap.

The slight made me crawl within myself and feel less.

Not beautiful.

Not worthy.

Just…not.

Perhaps that’s why one of the things I love most about Jesus is His policy on un.

What the world sees as necessary He deems unimportant.

What the world sees as unessential he deems priceless.

He handpicks those who carry the un and takes it away.

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My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn’t think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame. What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important.

-1 Corinthians 1:27-28

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunglasses

I lost  a pair of sunglasses the other day.

I had on Jackie O shades the same color of ripe grapefruit flesh.

Double lenses dipped in Elmer’s glue-thick fuchsia.

My glasses were more than rose-colored.

They were completely covered.

And I didn’t even know I had them on.

Until they were off.

The last time I saw them, I was talking to a recently betrothed friend.

Michaela’s usually playful demeanor was more serious than usual.

More sober.

She and her fiancé had decided to write their own wedding vows.

And she had come down with a writer’s block of sorts.

She said,

“I struggle with writing these vows because I break promises. 

I feel their weight.”

When you are pledging before the one you love and the One who loves and created both of you, it is a serious matter.

But what type of oath can you make?

How can I promise to forever, always, and until death when it’s difficult just promising for tomorrow?

Wait a second.

I remember having my sunglasses on when I went to see another friend.

Because my tears were pink.

A man she knew and loved for 15 years had left her.

For another woman, it seemed.

She mourned the break-up and tried to move on.

But in the lowest southeast corridor of her heart, she believed he would be back and that he was the one.

But the candle she held for him was blown out when news of his wedding reached her.

The event sent her into a spiral of despair.

As she wept, she tried to comfort herself with the prospect of his unhappy marriage, a thought that would still leave the door for her wide open.

The situation burdened my heart with sadness and questions.

Is love so unattainable and rare that it can flee at a moment’s notice?

Do diamonds really have to convince a buyer that they are worthy of purchase?

How much time and energy do we waste pining for someone who isn’t designed for us in the first place?

I lost  a pair of sunglasses the other day.

I had on Jackie O shades the same color of ripe grapefruit flesh.

Double lenses dipped in Elmer’s glue-thick fuchsia.

My glasses were more than rose-colored.

They were completely covered.

And I didn’t even know I had them on.

Until they were off.

Bridesmaid

The rhinestones on her veil twinkled as Natalie tiptoed onto the carpeted dais. The huge bridal mirror before her reflected her beauty three times before she turned to her wedding party for our say.

“You look so pretty!”

“That’s gorgeous!”

“He’s going to love you in that!”

She played with the veil and studied the gown’s detail before she went into the dressing room… for dress #8.

It had been a long afternoon.

The glow of beginning the search for a wedding dress was starting to dim and after dress #7, we needed to recharge.  We took the intermission to stretch, yawn, and adjust ourselves in the store’s uncomfortable folding chairs.

I took the break to go on a mission: Try on bridesmaid dress #3.

It’s only 3 dresses.

Not quite 27.

Only 3.

But when this year began, I never thought that I would be in 3 weddings, all within 6 months of each other.

And I never thought that, in addition to that, there would be 3 engagements before the first leaf fell for this year’s autumn.

And I never thought that such happy news could make me feel…

Wistfully curious.

Kissed with daze. 

Unsure and scared. 

What was the norm is now becoming what used to be. 

I can probably get that adjusted.

Brand new reasons will be the source of get-togethers.

I like these spaghetti straps.

My inner circle is being seated…

Let me take this dress to the register.

without me…

I don’t have my card. Let me give her cash.

…at tables for two.

Why did she give me back all of these coins?

But I’m behind them at a table for one.

                                                I don’t know what to do with all this change.