Shades of Gray, Dumbo the Elephant, and The Power of the Pen
Contagious laughter bounces off the inside of sun-warmed car windows. Shades of gray slowly pull themselves up around this part of the planet as dusk gives way to twilight. We inch our way towards the evening Beth Moore event with 5,000 other women. Four, freshly woven together friends, sharing space on this adventure.
Lively, authentic conversation bounces between us like a bouncy ball being thrown by an orangutan. Laughter is easy and a wide range of topics seem to be on the table.
Unexpectedly, one innocent comment about India gently glides out and an avalanche of well-intentioned conversation takes place. Questions about my intended trip this summer. Questions about my health. Statements of fact are laid bare for all the ears in the vehicle to hear and absorb. I do not like what I hear them say!
Unbeknownst to the others, my heart is now buried under the pile of innocent words; probing words; and words that invisibly wrap themselves in knots around my last thread of hope. Frantically, I attempt to brush these words off, like crumbs off a table top, but they do not budge. They have attached themselves like stinging nettles and no amount of shaking will loosen their grip.
Arriving at the event, we shuffle inside with the masses. Oversized sacred satchels; fragrant floral aromas; and Starbucks in hand seem to be the norm for this crowd of females. Following the others to our perch, I open the door in my mind and ask these intrusive thoughts to please leave, but they keep circling like a catchy commercial jingle that I can't get out of my mind.
Three hours lapse by and once again we are encapsulated in a moving vehicle returning to our temporary nest for the night. I am silent. I feel a headache bloom. My chest feels like Dumbo the elephant has just taken a seat on it and has no intention of moving any time soon. My hope silently smothered. The friendly chatter in the car continues oblivious to where I am emotionally at. Hurt finding fertile soil in my head and heart.
Silently my feet find their way to our room - #556. I slide into the bathroom where I can wear my worried face all alone. Glancing in the mirror, I realize the roots of my hair are the color of a dusty squirrel. My almond shaped, brown eyes are brimming with iridescent liquid that wants to create its own stream on my smooth cheek. Slipping out of my attire and into my comfy night clothing, I find my way back to the generous bed that is awaiting me.
Within moments, my BFF joins me and sparse words are exchanged. As if a volcano was erupting, I blurt out, "Can we NOT talk about India?" Silence. More silence. Even more silence. Then she speaks. "Sure". That is it. No other words are exchanged. Soon her rhythmic breathing starts and I know she has drifted off. I am alone with the blackness of this night and my strangled hope.
The shadows dance across the wall, beckoning me to come with them. Enticing me to just "Get up and leave." Hours slowly slither by. I flop like a fish out of water, leaving the bed covers in a heap. My hurt turns to anger.
2:00 AM Out of the velvety darkness, my swirling thoughts are suddenly silenced and a gentle whisper states, "I ONLY asked you to send your books to India, NOTHING more." Being the tenacious, strong-willed being that I am, my protesting instantly starts, "But they asked me to come." "But libraries are what I know." "But it is easier than writing." I lay here absorbing the power of that statement. I hear it again, "I ONLY asked you to send your books to India, NOTHING more." I lay here absorbing the immense power of that statement. Hum.....
It is in this moment I realize that I have spent the last year asking my Father for clarification about these two amazing opportunities in front of me - putting in libraries in third world countries or writing and speaking. Of course, I was plank-eyed enough to think that just maybe I could do both well.
Now, I know that this evening through conversation amongst trusted friends; and His gentle whisper, I have received my answer.
May you trust that when you ask Abba for an answer, HE is faithful to bring it you, even though it might not be how you had envisioned it happening. He does use those that love us and know us best to prepare the soil of our hearts to hear Him. Looking forward to how He plans to use the "power of my pen."
Until We Chat Again,
The Plank-Eyed Girl