Last July a tornado hit our neighborhood. One of the casualties? Our swing set. It’s all right. It was rusty and rocked a bit too much when our daughter got to swinging. The kids had outgrown it. So, we got a bigger one. A much bigger one.
“I feel small!” I giggled. “My feet don’t touch the ground!”
There’s just something about knowing that something is bigger than you, right?
I felt that way another time last week.
I’m about to be honest here. It’s not the prettiest side of me, but it’s true and I think sometimes we need to share the ugly every once in awhile. Just don’t think less of me, all right?
I don’t win things. Sure, every once in awhile I can trick the carnival dude who’s guessing people’s ages (thanks for the good genes, Mom). Sometimes I even win a blog give-away. But when it comes to competing I usually don’t come close to the prize.
I’m not a competitive person, so it isn’t about winning. It’s about affirmation.
Well, last week I found out that I didn’t final in a book competition for My Mother’s Chamomile. One of my friends did make the short list of finalists and I’m over the moon for him (Congrats, Zach Bartels, Playing Saint deserves to be on the list).
I have to admit, I pouted. I nursed hurt feelings. Now, I didn’t look at the books that did final in my category with bitterness. Not at all. I’m sure those books are stellar.
I just felt left out.
Like when the cool girl in elementary school had a sleep over and an invitation never comes to my house.
You know that feeling. Right? Please tell me you know.
You know how I felt? Small.
You know what song I have loved all my life? Bridge Over Troubled Water. It makes me cry. It reminds me of my childhood, listening to the Simon and Garfunkel Concert in Central Park record. I remember the way my mom sang along. And I remember the very first line resonating with me when I was little.
“When you’re weary, felling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
I’m on your side when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.”
That day I was disappointed, so I turned to two of the people who I knew would encourage me. I admitted how I felt and they lifted me up. I acted like a punk and they endured it (thanks, hubby).
At church we’re in a series about the “Power of a Compassionate Community”. Our pastor Jeff Manion asks each week, “Who are you looking out for?”.
Well, I’ll tell you what, I know who’s looking out for me and how good it feels to have people who care.
It makes me feel big enough to lay down my life for someone else. It inspires me to make sure I’m looking out for somebody else.
(Hey! Remember last week? I did a give-away here of Jocelyn Green’s book? Well, Joanne Sher is the winner! Hooray!)