Sunday, July 2, 2017
“If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago . . .” ― Cheri Huber
My son and his wife, and my sister, Penny, will be here tomorrow. It’ll be the first time we’ve seen them in person in several years, and all three of us are very excited. Yet, I found I was beginning to feel really down and that disturbed me. I did finally figure out why I was getting so depressed. None of them has seen me in several years, and I just don’t look so good right now. Age, skin spots, skin cancer, surgery scars, and my over-large body have left me looking pretty bad in my opinion. I guess that while I am really very excited about seeing them—I just don’t want them to see me. I’ve lost the spring in my step (although I can walk unaided) and can’t even travel into the Serengeti or the bush to visit our churches because of my need for a bathroom with a western toilet every hour or so. I guess I’m also realizing that this might be the last time they ever see me in person, and I don’t want them remembering me the way I look and function now. Maybe it’s only human nature, but I can remember looking and feeling much better not so very long ago. Of course, Karen thinks I’m being silly and am refusing to acknowledge that love forgives so very much in the way of appearance. I’ve written before about my dislike for the way I look all the while knowing that I forgive others who look much worse than I do because I love them. It makes no sense, but when has logic worked really well in the course of understanding human feelings?
My son has brought a complex contraption for the two of us to use in playing video games around Formula One racing, and I know we’ll have a grand time. I also know that we will have a wonderful time just talking, sharing stories, and learning new jokes from each other. I dearly love my sister, my son, and his wife, and have no business discounting the love for me that has caused them to spend a lot of time and money just to come and visit. Somehow, I manage to disregard all the things that make my feelings inaccurate. I suspect that I am not the first one to do this. They have already brought gifts that they sent with Shaban and John, like the two-person Pawleys Island Hammock that I have already hung and spent time in. Chris even wants to buy some bicycles to ride while they are here that they will then donate to one of our churches when they leave. I have every reason to be excited and happy, and it really bums me out that I can’t shake these feelings of inadequacy and ugliness. What to do? Get out the Bible and read those words in red that tell me in no uncertain terms that I am a beloved child of God and of infinite worth. Me, warts and all, was honored and humbled by Christ’s sacrifice without Him even knowing of me. We all should be inordinately happy that because of Christ’s love for us He offers comfort, strength, and the resolve to stop looking in the mirror and to look instead into the eyes of those who love us. It’s what I’m gonna do. Maybe you should, too, just in case you sometimes think less of yourself than Christ does.
Guess I’m just human and need to be reminded more than once that God didn’t make no junk. There is not a single soul on the face of this planet that cannot make the world a better place for themselves, their family, their friends, and people they have never met. Christ asks us to do this, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to give a simple cup of water to a thirsty child, and, if we do, no one cares about the scars, the excess weight, or the aches and pains of growing old. I get it—I really do, just sorry I had to work through it, but, as they say here, ndivyo ilivyo which means that sometimes things take a little work we had hoped to avoid (literally it means “What can you do?”). Thank you, God, for loving me regardless and for sending me those who love me as well. It’s more than I deserve, but I am truly very grateful.