Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign
We've shared a lot of signs from above on this blog and through many kind emails you've sent me. I have appreciated every single one! They have buoyed me up time and again, which I think is why we are given signs in the first place. To feel less alone. To feel cared about. Known. Held. To at once remember our very small size in this huge, mysterious universe, while also realizing that we may be small but we are in no way insignificant or forgotten.
When writing the book, I included only a few signs, even though I've experienced many, because I think sometimes their impact can be diminished or lost entirely when shared. Sometimes they are hard to explain, in a "you just had to be there" kind of way. And what is encouraging to one person, can easily sound convoluted and grasping to another. What a bummer.
I was thinking about that and how the very personal way a sign or a "god wink" speaks to one particular hurting heart in a specific moment can be why they are so hard to explain to one another. Of course that doesn't diminish the encouragement and love conveyed in that moment.
Anyway, today I remembered a god wink that I never shared with you, that I thought might be a neat way to start the day.
When Margaret had her first soccer tryouts after Jack died, she was nervous. We had spent a lot of time that first winter sitting on the couch, she'd missed a few games because of illness, and she wasn't sure if she still had what it took to make the travel team again. To pump herself up, she took a black Sharpie and wrote 4:13 on her hand. This was to remind her of a special Bible verse, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." She was nervous, and she didn't feel all that strong, but she was going to show up, get out there, and try anyway!
As we drove through town toward the middle school field for tryouts, we pulled behind a fire truck. It turned, we turned. It stopped, we stopped. When we were at a stoplight, Margaret said, "Look!" There, emblazoned on the back of the truck in tall black paint, was its engine number: 413.
She smiled, I smiled, and the engine pulled into the station right next to the middle school and we continued to the field.
I'm glad Margaret noticed the number in front of her that day, matching the number on her hand. It was a moment of connection and encouragement she needed, and it reminded me to keep my eyes and heart open.
By the way, she made the team!