Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Angels in My Infield

It’s so easy for some of our species. To be charming. To be beautiful. To manage life. To command respect. To know just when to be submissive and when to wield power. To know when to step in or when to gracefully bow out. To know how to say, “I’m sorry,” and really mean it. And even to know where all of those secret places are where a girl can simply cry in peace.

Womanhood is at times a complete mystery to me. Yet, I am in awe of those who wear it well. I’m not sorry I feel this way, only sorry that I may have missed an opportunity or two. Being more comfortable hanging out with the guys is definitely overrated. For me, it was simply an opportunity to hide. To remain one chromosome removed from ever having to really know someone.

Perhaps this is why I am so comfortable with Jesus. He’s a guy. He doesn’t scare me as much as a 5’2” chick in heels with a color-coded day planner does. I’m 5’11” and at age 39, I’ve finally admitted that writing reminder notes on my hand is as close as I’ll come to conquering a palm-pilot. In fact, it feels good to admit things, to really accept them as they are.

That’s the only fault I’ve found with our gender. The word “accept” isn’t easily verbalized, or swallowed. Change! Do! Overcome! These are all feminine word-weapons if you ask me. Killer verbs dripping with perfume. If you don’t believe me, try instead dropping the “a” word at a tea party and listen to the silver spoons clatter to the floor. No, we like to fix people instead. Or at least attempt to love them into compliance. It’s our codependent MO, I’m afraid.

On the other hand, Jesus’ modus operandi isn’t like most guys I know. Instead of allowing me to remain at gender distance, He lays the very thing I need on my pillow every morning. Like a gentlemen, He whispers, “Accept. Endure. Carry On.” I am so in love with Him. He is poetry, and because of Him, I remain in motion.

No woman wants to hear those words except for me. At least that’s how it seems. But, my Jesus is full of soothing surprises. Just this year he has led me to the ironically impossible. Yet again, He has deemed it time to remove an element of blindness and to have me see.
What do I see? I see butterflies and Shakespeare. Bell-bottom pants and clouds of chalk dust. I see Fire’s Creek, red plum trees and hay bales. I hear the din on a school bus. I feel an unexpected embrace. I open crumpled letters. I see eyes ringed with wisdom and smiles laced with understanding. I sense endless patience, and I taste the purity of mountain water. He is holding my hand all the way. He is intentional, leading me backwards down a path of distant familiarity. A path where the non-sensical weaves together in a way only He could have possibly commanded.

I was blind before, but I see them now. I see the women in my life, but this time they have wings. They are not convoluted cherubs, but gritty-real, hanging on to halos with bare hands. They walk labyrinths, draw out-of-bounds plays and deliver sermons- the best kind- those without words. I never knew women could be so stunning. This series is dedicated to them, to those beauties that fear made me miss, or dismiss. Thank you, Jesus, for providing me a vehicle for proper thanks.

(Stay tuned for a gratitude series on the women who-with God’s help-have shaped this lump of clay I call “me” into something useful.)

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