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A Public Confession

May 9, 2012

I remember the day I smelled a horrible odor coming from my bedroom closet. I must have been 6 or 7 and I finally decided the smell wouldn’t go away until I investigated. I was nervous, but I went after the source of the odor.

I don’t remember how long it took me to discover the shoe. In fact, I don’t remember how my tiny little 6 or 7 year old hands finally got up the nerve to reach for the shoe in the back of my closet. But I reached for it. I reached for that purple sparkly jelly shoe. One shoe from the pair of jellies that I wanted for so long, that I wore proudly on all those summer days, that twinkled when the sun hit them just right. I reached in and grabbed the one jelly shoe, the prized jelly shoe, that I apparently chose to throw in the back of my closet.

Why did I throw my beloved jelly shoe in the closet, only to pull it out in search of an odor?

Because I stepped in dog poo.

Dog poo was squished into the grooves of the bottom of my sparkly jelly shoe. And, apparently, rather than clean it out with a stick or wash cloth or hose, I chose to simply throw the poo-shoe in the back of the closet. Throw the shoe where it would stink up my room and grow even more disgusting as time went on. I have no idea why I did this. Perhaps I was a glutton for punishment. Perhaps I never wanted to let myself forget that I had stepped my precious shoe into dog feces. Perhaps I was just lazy. Whatever the reason, I chucked the poo-shoe as far away from my mind as I could imagine, which at that time, was the back of my closet. But our demons never stay away for long – they always come back. The smell forced me into action.

I think I still have a tendency to do that.

I think I still like to throw my poo-shoes in the back of my closet.

I think I still like to take the things that shame me, that embarrass me, that haunt me, and chuck them away in a dark corner until I absolutely can’t ignore their existence anymore.

If I am honest, I’m doing it now. I’m working hard to ignore, to forget, that I’m struggling. I’m working really hard to turn my back on an agonizing reality.

I have a hard time accepting that God is good to me.

There – I said it. I really do. I have a hard time accepting that I am the one He intends to bless and care for and lavish upon with life abundant.

I have no problem with God giving to other people. I have no hesitations when it comes to celebrating his goodness for others. I see his miracles all the time in the lives of my friends and my family, and I encourage others to look for his hand in their lives.

But I don’t look for it in mine. I’m afraid to try.

I’m afraid to get my hopes up when so much of my life has told me not to. I’m afraid to relax for fear that when I do, whatever I’m holding will come crashing down. I’m afraid to give myself over to high expectations should the things I desire not work out.

So I sit with my fear. I sit with my distrust. I sit with all the broken parts of my faith whose cracks start to show once I hold them against the light.

And then my little boy kicks me.

I smile.

He kicks me again.

Is God talking to me?

Thump, thump, thump.

Laughter slides out from my lips.

Kick, kick.

He’s there. His presence is so reassuring. I am covered in joy.

I close my eyes and sit back and put my hand to my belly. I breathe slowly and calmly and yield to the acceptance. Acceptance that life breeds life. That God pours grace. That he gives to me, (yes me!), these gifts with no strings attached.

The Lord is good to me.

The Lord is good to me.

The Lord, he is good to me.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. pastordt permalink
    May 9, 2012 8:21 pm

    I am so with you on this one, LKP. Still working on it 4 decades past you. Praying for us both, that we might open our hands and our hearts to receive every good gift that ‘falleth from above’ – without constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop!

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