I am a rubber-band-ball making savant. I had no idea! Until yesterday when my small group of Sunday school girls made rubber band balls. I mean, the girls—who are way more insightful than the average fifth graders—where like, “Oh my gosh, you are so great at this!” And then I was like: “Your right—I never knew.” Forget the widgets all the stores are selling to help the kids who fidget (which was exactly me in school), I say give them a wad of rubber bands and watch them make something productive. Hmmm?
Now before you worry and judge the scope of how far Sunday school lessons have stretched from Biblical application—let me assure you. The girls were experiencing with their fingers what their hearts need to know: that nothing is impossible with God! That God can introduce us to one small thought, one tiny purpose, or one single person to share His love with and before we know it we are sitting on top of a ball that weighs a zillion pounds and consists of 7000,000 rubber bands! Guinness Book, baby!
And since I didn’t want to seem like a braggart, I gave my exquisite ball to a girl in the group and reminded them, “So what if you’re not a rubber-band-ball making savant—God will use you. And with Him and through Him all things are possible. The enemy will want you to feel unqaulified, uncapable, and unworthy, but Jesus thought you were enough to die for. Besides, God uses imperfect for His perfect. Because girls, that’s just the kind of grace-filled God He is.” And I guess if you’re going to talk the talk you’d better walk the walk, right?
Like last week while on a respite with friends, I walked fast across the street when my shoe accidently got stuck in a grate. Soon after it was obvious my heel must have swallowed a mouse. A very loud mouse. When we entered the first store, I tiptoed close and squeaky behind Patsy, “I bet you don’t know who’s following you? Try to guess. Just try.” Odd, she didn’t seem worried it was a squeaky stalker. Then an intuitive salesclerk identified the nuisance, “I think you’re shoe is making noise. And it looks like your heel is completely flopping from the soul.” “Really?” Squeak. Squeak.
The sweet salesclerk—so nice and empathetic—compared me to Cinderella while he pulled off my busted shoe. I admit, if I’d have known then about my rubber band-ball giftedness, I’d have felt slightly more regal. But at the time my thoughts were like, “Cinderella! Well, bless your salesy heart. I need to buy a cheap pair of slippers. And no glass shoe please, I don’t want to end up in the ER.” As we left the store laughing, Patsy tested my psyche and was like: “Oh my gosh, do you ever feel like these types of things always happen to you?” Her enquiry just a concern for my fragile state of “intouchness.” Spell-check doesn’t like this word “intouchness,” but I do. I think my answer put her fears to rest though because I was like: “Yes. Every single day!” Shew, I am still in touch with the reality of me.
Life seems to happen to me…a lot. Just as it does for everyone, except, sometimes more squeaky. Last week I’d decided that no matter what, I was going to rest and write and get my “bless on” and wear it like Coppertone 45. Nothing was going to get to me, not even a cold that hit less like a tiny package of travel Kleenex and more like some sort of tropical hurricane. Or possibly a severe allergic reaction to vacation. The upside: If you’re going to get sick, the beach is as good place to do it. No clean up after long drooly naps in the sand. You are basically swimming in a giant neti pot—are you not? I reassured my husband as he watched the receipts from Hubler’s add up. “It’s a drug store, honey and I’m A-okay. And so is the Musinex ADD, or BMV or whatever it is I bought. The sore throat lozenges, the Kleenex and lip balm also help. And then the Nyquil the pharmacist recommended assures a tranquil night’s sleep. It’s all good.”
That’s why I was shocked to have a less tranquil, but more like a Nyquil nightmare that very same night. I woke at midnight to alarms and a bullhorn demanding everyone leave the hotel…now! Did this Cinderella sleep through the ball? If you’ve ever wondered if spontaneous combustion is real outside of test tubes and high school chemistry—let me assure you—it’s really spontaneous and smokey. It also starts real fires in the laundry rooms of hotels built back in 1920’s. And since I had huge blisters from my flip flops, and couldn’t find my Cinderella slippers, I slipped on my gold heeled sandals to wear down three flights of stairs while still in my jammies. All I can say about that is, “It’s a fire people—there is no time to be choosy when you are blistery, sniffy and drooly. All aboard the hot mess express!
But despite my hot messes, the trip was still bliss. I prayed and sat still and sick while God gently restored parts of me that had been feeling the pressure from a winters worth of writing and fighting the enemy. I chased Manatees and my best friend chased me just in case what I thought was a Manatee was actually a man eating shark. Or a woman eating shark. Either way, the trip was amazing and beautiful and restorative. I know I am a mess. That’s exactly why I’m just the one to encourage my fifth grade small group and all those willing—but not so together—hearts to know without a doubt: God will use you. And with Him and through Him all things are possible. The enemy wants you to feel unqaulified, unable, and unworthy, but Jesus thought you were enough to die for. Besides, God uses imperfect for His perfect. Because girls, that’s just the kind of grace-filled God He is!
Oh! The last day of our trip I bought my one and only souveneir. I couldnt help it. Call me crazy, but the black and gold letters across the front of a coffee mug just seemed to yell out my name. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.
“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).