Archive for September, 2014

Is Your Life Shiny?
September 21, 2014

It’s no secret that I have a penchant for glitter and a passion for sparkle.

I’ve the attention span of a tiny monkey hopped up on sugar when I’m in a jewelry store or craft aisle or near a fountain glistening in the sunlight, and the same can be said for the stories I try to narrate. I leap through each chapter of life with fingers stretched out to snatch the next little sparkly moment.
As I tell tales of everyday trips to the market or recount relationships, I try to draw out the details that will mesmerize an audience… with laughter, with depth, with shine.

I sure don’t like dull.
And I most definitely don’t like dark.

Distracted by the diamond on my roommates hand, we walked by the river and I asked her question after question about the beautiful season she’s in.  One that involves registry guns and gold-edged invitations and cutting keys to a new house in a sweet little pocket of town.  My stroll slowed when I went from enjoying her story to growing greedy for my own.  I mean I have a story, but I wanted a brighter one, a better one.

Storm clouds rolled in behind my eyes and she noticed the shift in my demeanor.  As we followed the path around a favorite bend, we stopped and I just spilled it all out- all the junk that just isn’t shiny.
The tired, the weary, the jealous, the unsure, the unsteady, the unshiny junk of now.
Cause I can cover it in nail polish and fill it up with Starbucks and fasten it with bows of instagram-worthy activities, but I was feeling dull, I was lost in the dark.
I jumped off the little stone bench we’d stopped at and went to keep walking, when she sat me back down to pray.
And not just to pray but to throw my listless little rough-edged heart before the God of the universe.

It’s very hard to look Him in the face and say the story that He’s narrating isn’t shiny enough.
But I already have.
You already have.
We already have.

When we ask for more and tell Him what we have isn’t enough, when we bemoan the job and home and spouse or lack thereof, we are looking at the Creator who created us just so He could write our stories, and we’re saying, no… this one isn’t good enough, and we’re flinging the pages back for editing.

We want more adventure! More money! More sex! More degrees!
We want it bigger, faster, louder, and now.
We want immediate shine.

And sometimes we don’t realize that it takes work to rub away the dull edges, and sometimes we don’t realize that everything we have is full of an eternal luster so glorious we should shield our eyes.

So when my lovely roommate sat me down to pray, she also reminded me that there is so much shine in my story of now, because there is a very good God inside this story of now, and He is all things glimmering and all things great.

I was convicted right there on the White River.

The next morning I stopped to get gas and an Indian man with perfectly coiffed Bollywood hair stood at the pump next to me with a roll of paper towel and a bottle of Windex.
With a huge grin, he stood and spritzed and wiped clean every single inch of pump 7.  Then moved on to the next. He whistled and made small talk with those of us on E, and kept intently focused on his task.
“How are you doing today ma’am? You look beautiful.”
I peeked up over my Mazda to see these kind brown eyes offering a genuine compliment.
“I’m doing really well, I’m on my way to church. How are you?”
He kept on spritzing, “Church? Well that sounds wonderful. Maybe you should pray for me.”
He turned away, I think he thought our conversation was over.
“Of course I will pray for you. What exactly should I pray for?”
He stopped spritzing. He sputtered a bit. I don’t think he thought I would take him seriously.
“Really? You will? Please pray that I find my purpose. But also, I am very happy, I have so much, so, umm…”
“I will pray for you, and I am glad you are well… may I ask, what is your name?”
Those big brown eyes got brighter. “Love. My name is Love.”

I don’t think it was a coincidence that my God, the One who loves a good story, offered me a little ray of Love that morning to remind me that sometimes things are just good, that while I am looking to find my big bright purpose, I should also be aware of just how much I have, and that it’s worth being happy… more than happy.  There’s so much good that I should sputter when I pray, and stumble over just how good it is on my way to requesting more.
I should get tangled up in thankfulness before I beg for better.

Because here was a gas station attendant with a bottle of Windex and a great big heart making more than pump 7 shiny, he was spreading shine with every sweet smile and kind comment.

I walked across the street to get my man’s blonde roast with 4 splenda’s and I just wanted to shout to every person in line “Your story is shiny! Can I hear it?!”
I was so convicted at my own stupid selfishness… and it was two-fold:
I tied my own blindfold on every morning and walked through the gift of each day, choosing not to see it’s shine.
And while shrouded in the shadows of jealous and greedy and tired, I missed the chance to see everyone else’s beautiful glistening chapters.

I want to meet more people like Love, I want to be like Love.
I want to work hard at my task, whether it’s flashy or not, and I want to make a difference in the mundane, not because of me, but because of the Light I’m reflecting.

Let’s not let the early alarms and the flat tires and the tears always win.
Because they will always be there, because this world sure isn’t perfect, and there’s more than enough of the mess and murky to go around.

Let’s pray and listen and laugh hard and tip our faces to the sun and ask to be aware of all His good and all the vivid glory of now.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and start showing a world full of dark just how bright hope is.
Let’s pull down bits of heaven and pass it around like gemstones.

Let’s be shiny.
Let’s live shiny.
Let’s love shiny.

Well look at you, you’re positively glowing.

glitter hand