Yesterday Aaron and I picked up a couple of cute green armchairs from a craigslist posting for a good price. They were worn out in places and needing a good cleaning but they were still worth it. As I was shaving, trimming, and vacuuming them (cats!) I was thinking about how I’m kind of glad they aren’t perfect. I feel more at ease about them. I don’t feel guilty about spending a bunch of money on something fresh and fancy. I don’t have to worry to much about messing them up. They feel familiar and friendly already. They fit right in with all the other stuff we own! HAHA!
I imagine that I’m just like one of those chairs. I’m far from perfect. I’m pretty worn in some ways and I can’t really hide my imperfections at all. I’m one of those people that gushes information if you even look at them sideways. I wasn’t always like that. I used to hide my imperfections like you’d hide an ugly chair with pillows or blankets. Doilies, anyone? I also used to be very even-keeled and not really get ruffled easily. Now I’m an open book – completely vulnerable most of the time and sometimes seemingly incapable of just holding it together for crying out loud! There are good things about that. There are bad things too.
I was at the Hillsboro stadium yesterday helping the children’s ministry during Solid Rock’s big summer bash. They have a bbq, worship, games/summer fun, a teaching, and a free concert afterward. I’d never gone before. Lately, whenever I work with the kids, I’ve been trying to making a point of praying quietly for those little ones. Yesterday I was in a chair most of the time rocking a sweet little girl who was sleeping. I sang and prayed for her and for all the little crazies running around in front of me. I was so struck by their emotional turmoil and their incredible highs and lows. With the background image of their parents worshiping Jesus along with the multitudes, I prayed their little hearts as they ran by crying hysterically or laughing joyfully or getting into some “intense fellowship” situations. 🙂 I became overwhelmed with just how loved they are. It was a feeling that remained with me for quite a time.
I didn’t stick around for the concert afterward. My heart was full with these reflections and also heavy for reasons I couldn’t really form in my mind. I was just tossing thoughts about and breathing a sensational air of worship. It was the spirit of God, energizing and soothing at the same time. It was quite remarkable, actually! All these masses of people, even the rock star crowd I feel completely out of place with, seemed focused on God. There was laughter and conversation and genuine fellowship happening. I could FEEL that God was pleased and was actively taking part in each snapshot of this amazing scene.
I felt much like a small boat skimming through waves as I plowed through rows and people milling about. Having been at that church for 4 years and worked hard at connecting, there were plenty of pockets of people I knew, but I just went by them with a nod and a smile. I was thinking about how I’m a worn out chair that is frayed at the edges and often a bit frumpy. I’m comfortable though. A welcome home for a tired little one. The beauty God gave me is like the kind you find in a right-sized, comfy, worn out chair that is functional and restful at the same time. Who knew I’d identify so much with chairs? Weird.
I was making good time to the exit. I wasn’t in a hurry to leave, but wasn’t in a hurry to stay either, and my thoughts about chairs and emotions and little souls was becoming fairly consuming. I was nearly to the parking lot when someone grabbed my arm and said “Hey!” I looked up to find Daniele.
Daniele and I don’t talk much, but we keep loosely in touch. She and her husband hold a sweet little place in our hearts because they were some of the first real connections we made at the church. They are funny, loud, kind, and very very busy. We normally don’t reach out to each other too much for the busy-ness factor. So I was surprised when she caught me.
Daniele is one who can seem to run a three ring circus while most of us can barely manage one. She is engaging and sincere, the mom of four active kids and wife to one active husband, manages to arrange church getaways and be incredibly active all on her own… She handles chronic illness with more humor grace than I imagine I could muster. And she is very very busy!
Daniele had been working at the event yesterday for at least 8 hours at that point! And for whatever reason, she saw my face and got a hint of something not quite right, caught my arm, and poured compassion and love into me for a wonderful 10 minutes. She encouraged me and helped me to get perspective on my roller coaster emotions. Advised me to invest in a dollar store pregnancy test (probably a good idea). And, oddly, sent me on my way with an extra large bag of shredded lettuce. It was totally a Jesus thing.
I still feel like a worn little armchair. But my brief encounter with Daniele reminded me that it’s ok. In fact, it’s good! I’m a useful and beautiful just how God created me – raw emotions and all. Yes, I may be vulnerable and messy since giving my life to Christ. And frankly, I may have become a basket case during my second pregnancy. Perhaps I will never be the same! But I can still be used by Him be a comfort to others and help them feel at home. I’m in just the place He wants me to be, ministering to just the little ones He wants me to minister to. I’m the little armchair that could. 🙂
And no, I don’t really think I’m pregnant.
But yes, I’m going to check anyway!