This afternoon, my red shopping cart with the white bullseye sidled divinely up to a cashier with the ultimate “resting bitch face.” I, too, am blighted with the face, so I am careful not to judge others that may be dealing with the same ailment. She quietly began scanning my pile of clearance children’s pajamas, while I studied the lines etched into her beautiful dark skin. I admire wrinkles because they are the marks of time and the wisdom that can ONLY be gained by that rite of passage. I noted how one side of her mouth curved upwards slightly. A stroke, maybe?
How are you? I asked.
She met my gaze and then carried on with her scanning. “I’m so blessed. I still have my mind. Thank You, God. And thank You for the rain. Thank You for the sun. Thank You for my job. Thank you for the enemy.”
She continued to proclaim praises to her God and mine, while I pondered her gratitude for her enemy. While I rolled out of that Target parking lot in my mildly fancy mom-mobile, I was still pondering. This was something I had genuinely never thanked God for, and I was intrigued.
Here is the realization I came to. When we are aware of the schemes of our enemy, it allows us to lean harder on the Lord, trusting in His deliverance. So yes, thank You for the enemy. (The Screwtape Lettersby C.S. Lewis is a great read about the tomfoolery of the dark side.)
I woke up this morning feeling the need to write and the need to thank. This is what I wrote in my journal this a.m.:
just write. day 1~ 9.18.18
The sky is changing black to gray before my eyes. The earth spins wildly on her axis, and the days pass in a blur. Soon, I’ll be an old woman. Will I still be warring against myself to “rejoice always”? May it never be so. May this be the gray sky on which I learn to be content in plenty and in want; the day that scales fall off my eyes so that I may truly see. May the old lady that is me read these words and remember this day with fondness- that one spin of the globe where she came alive.
Fast forward to errand-running. After Target, we zoomed into Costco for my list which consisted solely of “dog bones and that weird vegetable powder stuff.” However, in typical, average jo fashion, I meandered up and down aisles, oohing and aahing over all sorts of nonsense packaged in bulk. Meanwhile, my set of blonde treasures turned into wild things, and I huffed and puffed. (One of those treasures told me that he overheard a woman using he and his brother as an example of how NOT to behave in a store. Gasp. Every parent’s worst fear.) After scolding, I dwelt in my typical stance of agitation rumination on the way home. And then I remembered the Target lady and thought, what if I thank the Lord for this moment? What would that look like? Thank You, Father, for an opportunity to lean hard into You and seek Your counsel in my parenting. And then I smiled.
That dear heart working for the Lord at Target? As I declared my yeses in response to her bold proclamations of faith to a stranger, she looked at me and said,
“Don’t just stand there saying ‘yes.’ You go home and live it.”
Okay. I will do my best, dear woman. Thank you.