Wednesday, June 23, 2010

free, it feels

Last night we had our evening program for the kids - a weekly event of crazy games and silliness. At the end of game time, I got to read a story to all the children. I loved it. I read one of my all-time favorite children's books..."You are Special" by Max Lucado. - I know, I's sounds cheesy...but it is wonderful.

I will summarize. The book begins in a little town of wooden people, called "Wemmicks". They go around sticking either stars or grey dots on each other depending on appearance, performance and talents (grey dots would indicate lack-thereof). Punchinello is the main character, an awkward looking wooden doll who is clumsy and without talent. He begins to believe the criticism of others the more often he hears it, and the grey dots only seem to multiply. He is surprised one day to meet a Wemmick unlike any other, she has no dots - or stars. She tells Punchinello that it is because she visited the woodcarver...and so, out of curiosity, Punchinello ventures to do the same...and these are my favorite quotes from the ending...

"Who are they to give stars or dots? What they think doesn't matter, Punchinello. All that matters is what I think. And I think you are pretty special." said the Woodcarver

Punchinello laughed. "Me, special? Why? I can't walk fast. I can't jump. My paint is peeling. Why do I matter to you?"

Eli looked at Punchinello, put his hands on those small wooden shoulders, and spoke very slowly. "Because you're mine. That's why you matter to me."

Punchinello had never had anyone look at him like this--much less his maker. He didn't know what to say.

"Every day I've been hoping you'd come," Eli explained.

"I came because I met someone who had no marks."

"I know. She told me about you."

"Why don't the stickers stay on her?"

"Because she has decided that what I think is more important than what they think. The stickers only stick if you let them."

"What? I don't think I understand."

"You will, but it will take time. You've got a lot of marks. For now, just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care." Eli lifted Punchinello off the bench and set him on the ground. "Remember," Eli said as the Wemmick walked out the door. "You are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes."

I know it's one of those "aw" sort of books...but I just really love that illustration. In searching for belief in my belovedness this seems like God has taken every moment to remind me of it's truth. Finishing that book with bright-eyed children was tying a bow around the entire week. My life is changing so fast, I can hardly process it all. Nothing of my own doing. God has this beautiful way of bringing us back to things we swore we'd never do. Some of you, (who know me well)...know that last summer at camp isn't one of my favorite memories. Maybe even my worst. Given the situation itself wasn't the best, I shouldn't have lumped everything into one giant grudge against it all...but I did. I even claimed it was the "summer from hell"...and I hated going back - even stepping on the property. I closed off people related to the summer as best I could, and I erased every memory. So well, I forgot names.

{"No one ever told me grief felt so much like fear." C. S. Lewis}

The year went on, as it does. Senior year, there I was in March, with my whole life ahead of me crying - "God! I'm here! I've told you I will go anywhere and I will do anything - what more could you want from me? I need direction, I need a job." And God says - "Guess where I'm taking you Grace..." Here I am - a million miles away, yes, but working in a Christian camp - living, even, in a camp. Working, breathing camp-life daily. I smile even as I type it. He's so good. Being here and keeping the future in mind I've caught myself thinking about what it would be like to live in a camp setting for a long time...get this...ready?...I've even pictured myself working again at the camp I did in the U.S. and wanting to live there...who knows if that would ever actually happen...but can you believe those thoughts even came from me? I can't. That's why God is amazing. He brings us back to things and paints His grace completely over them...He says - "You can't - but I can."

I will push you. I will grow you. And I will love you like you've never known...

So my latest stubbornness with God? Deciding that I don't want children. Even cringing at the idea. Sure, I'd love to adopt/care for children who don't have any home...but my own? No thanks. I'd rather my hips stayed in the general area they're in now, and I'd like to have a life of adventure and excitement...nothing normal. "Besides", I justified - "I'm not that great with them anyways." Pure selfishness, when it comes down to it. So what has God decided to do? Since last week He's been surrounding me with laughing, giggling, warm and bouncing toddlers. Slobbery kisses on my cheek and affectionate names such as "aunty"...darling smiles just for could one resist?

To be completely honest, I'm still not so sure about the whole procreating thing (luckily I've got plenty of time!)...and last summer still has a sting left to it...but I am slowly beginning to let go of my "never" statements...and give them over to someone who I am finding, loves me a whole lot.

It is that weaving of all threads...and a renewed hope in "nothing wasted or left to rot..."

places, people, moments injected with significance.


Craig and Jill said...

"but I am slowly beginning to let go of my "never" statements...and give them over to someone who I am finding, loves me a whole lot."

i like that.


Susan said...

Grace you are so lovely and I can't wait to be "aunty" to all SEVEN of your OWN children. haha just kidding.

keep pressing in dear :)

Liesl said...

Next time I see you, remind me to tell you a story.