Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Limping to Laughing: The Proverbs Guide

Please pass the crutches. I'm limping today.

It's been one of those weeks already. You have them too, right? That occasional, random day (or week) that leaves you reeling - emotions arrested, equilibrium attacked, and dreams hijacked. Lesser women would break under such circumstances. But not us. Oh no. We women of God limp on, swallowing our pride and sniffing (as opposed to crying out) to our Maker.

I mean, we are lame. We are not defeated.

But living lame isn't all that appealing either, I guess. I considered my lame-ish plight as I spent the second day in a row on Interstate 35 between Dallas and Wichita. (You know, that drive would be a breeze if Oklahoma would fall off the map. That would cut my drive time down to 4 hours, tops.) As I drove, I wondered how I should be handling my cute little situation. The faster I drove the more I wondered. The more I wondered, the faster my head spun. The faster my head spun I had to get out of that car, so I did the only thing I could do under such mental/emotional duress: I veered sharply to the right, jumped the shoulder, and screeched to a stop alongside a Kansas wheat field. (See above.)

Into the amber waves of grain I ran. And belly-flopped. And stayed. I lay on my back, staring at the blue, blue sky - listening to the amber waves as the wind came sweeping down the plains. And right there, amid the wheat, I sniffed out to my Maker. "Lord, how do I handle this one?" I implored. "What do You want to see from me in this situation? How do I pull through this with my heart... and Your approval... intact?"

And just like that I was reminded of that verse in Proverbs 31. You know, the chapter that details the perfect woman. (Note to self: ever notice how the Bible details the qualities of the really great woman, but not the really great man? Find out what happened to that chapter.) Anyway, as I lay there it was verse 25 that pounded through my ears. The one that says, She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

"...She can laugh at the days to come." Isn't she great? Good, bad, and in between, this woman can laugh at her days to come. Not cower from them. Not limp through them. Not hide out in wheat fields, sniffling-out because of them. She laughs at them. And not a Sarah kind of laugh (see Genesis 18:10-15), but a strength and dignity-backed kind of laugh.

I bounded back to my illegally-parked-along-Interstate-35 car and hopped in. If this woman could laugh at her days, so could I. If she could stare her future - come what may - in the face and grin... then chuckle... then laugh out loud, so can I.

So I did. I gripped the steering wheel and I grinned. I chuckled. I laughed. Sure, it was forced. And yes, it was cheesy. But I laughed. And the longer I cheesy-laughed, the harder I laughed. In fact, I laughed so hard I almost had to get out again and run for the crop-circle-like indentation I'd left in the amber waves of grain.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Please pass the Kleenex. I'm laughing today.

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