Gatorade from Jesus
6:30 in the morning is too early to be mad…but look at me go.
I’d sworn up and down that I’d parked my car right in front of my house the night before. Smiling through anger is about as effective as using perfume as a substitute for antiperspirant, but yesterday, I didn’t care. Perfume everywhere.
I called my families as I sat in my apartment alone and told each of them that we’d be meeting over the phone. By about four o’clock, anger started to simmer as my hope faded and the sunlight grew dimmer.
I’d built this life on the foundation of the ashes of my last one. I worked enough overtime that I started sounding like my dad does when he’s tired. Now, the man’s retired. I said, “Jesus, I mean no disrespect, but now this? What’s next?”
I lost my home to my ex-husband, lost my wedding gown to the trash. My best friend got right with himself and his girlfriend and burned our old friendship to ash. I walked away from a furnished apartment and burned whole paychecks in every department. Contrary to the claims that Walmart was making, building my life from scratch burned a hole in my savings.
I used to give my money away, now I shop at the stores that I used to donate to. I had two cars to my name so I made sure my sister’s insurance was always paid. I looked in the mirror, just to make sure that the reflection was that of my face. Funny how a single event can make a person feel like the work of their hands has been erased.
I heard Jesus ask, “Are you done, yet?”
A sigh. Yes. I let my emotions distract me from the myriad ways that I’m blessed.
Then, suddenly, I could see clearly. The kindling for the fire that brought me to a simmer was merely a distraction to keep me from taking action. Even if I have nothing to show for the overtime work of my hands, I’ve had some close calls and I’m still alive: that’s worth more than a few bands. I lost a friend but that doesn’t mean that I lost everybody I love. What a privilege it is to miss people still living when my friends look and listen for signs from their friends up above.
Cruel bullets. But God let me know He’ll be coming back.
Hot summers. But someday, it’ll be Satan under attack.
So thirsty, sometimes, I down glass after glass of water, waiting for this feeling to pass: it never occurred to me that what I needed to quench my thirst was…words. Sometimes, God takes what we have to remind us that what we need is not of this world. As for my car, He told me He’d replace it if I left my heart open and let him erase what was making it so hard to forgive me, myself, and I.
I’ll try, Jesus.
Through the beaming sun, He smiled.