I’m in so much pain. First degree burns on my right hand, lower abdomen, and the crevice between my butt cheek and right thigh. And I know you’re concerned. I can pause here if you need tissues. When you’ve exhaled and had time to calm down, I’ll explain HOW YOU GET BURNED.
When you get into an argument with your husband, you buy new pants. Then you pray together and sort through frustrations. But first, the pants.
When you buy new pants, you don’t take your dirty laundry to the laundromat because you have clothes for the last day of the week.
When you have clothes for the last day of the week, you don’t curl your hair because everyone should be looking at your new pants.
When you don’t curl your hair, the teenagers in your outreach program think you look bad. You explain that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but they scoff at you.
When teenagers scoff at you, you wake up on a Saturday morning to run 3 miles in a polar vortex.
When you run 3 miles in a polar vortex, you consider throwing yourself into traffic. But you don’t. You decide to live another day, and make the world a better place.
When you decide to make the world a better place, you volunteer to work the HOPE Count in New York City.
When you volunteer to work the HOPE Count in New York City, you count homeless people when it’s 8 degrees outside. You and a few others walk the streets at the apex of winter to determine how many people need the City’s crisis services. Armed with clipboards and surveys, you approach every stationary person with a hearty “Do you have a place to sleep tonight?” You check off that most people have a place to sleep, but you are touched when you meet a young man (who looked like a rapper’s posse member, not obviously distressed, just a haircut would’ve helped) who needs a bed for the night. You work with your team to get a homeless shelter van to pick him up. You feel badly that you assumed he was a drug addict. You approach everyone else with non-judgment, and you stick to the script even though you want to tell every possibly homeless person that Jesus offers more than shelter for a night, He offers abundant life. Do not mention that His Father’s house has many rooms or they will fire you. Do not mention that His Father’s house has many rooms or THEY WILL FIRE YOU. So you shove your hands in your pockets.
And when you shove your hands in your pockets, you joyfully recall that you have hand warmers in there, and they are hot! You treasure those hand warmers. It’s 7 degrees by this point, and you’d make love to those hand warmers if you could. You thank God for them. You wonder how you ever lived without them.
And when you wonder how, you refuse to release them when you get home at 3am. And at 3:30 in the wee hours of the morning, you fall asleep with them next to you. And you feel their warmth. And you roll over onto them at some point in the night.
And holy Lord, you wake up in the morning feeling like you are on fire because you are on a bed of coals—I mean hand warmers. You didn’t mean to sleep on top of them, but you did. And oh man, where is the Neosporin? And oh man, why does every single one of our board members have to be so nice and shake my poor little burned hands?
***If you can’t handle how ridiculous I’m becoming – my mother says I’ve always been this way – and have some insightful blog posts that other people might enjoy, I’m still looking for a guest blogger. Don’t pretend you don’t know me.