Our laughter and chatter hadn’t stopped for a moment as we’d enjoyed a light lunch at our new local eatery, where the modern, deconstructed menu challenged my taste buds, and our conversation stirred my emotions.
Having paid our bill (or at least that’s what I think I did when I ham-fistedly signed my name on the electronic tablet our techno-savy waitress passed my way), we decided to spend the precious minutes we had left meandering the smorgasbord of new shops that have sprung up to impress the growing number of young professionals in the area.
The sun was out … the sky was blue… the shops were open …
All was calm and as it should be on a girl’s lunch out. And then ….
“Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!! I’ve stolen a bra!”
Having just left the first boutique shop empty handed, I placed my outstretched hand on the handle of our next fashion emporium. Time slowed, as if to exaggerate the horror overtaking me, as I noticed the rather ugly bra dangling innocently from my wrist.
My ear-piercing public confession rang throughout the neighborhood and immediately pronounced me guilty.
“I stole a bra, oh my goodness, I stole a bra!”
Instantly I spun on my heels, waving the snow-white undergarment above my head, surrendering to my fate. Still announcing my horror and guilt to the unsuspecting world around me, I turned around and came face to face with the store owner peering out of her shop door. Her curious and confused expression said it all …
“Did this middle-aged English woman really just walk out of my store, blatantly wearing a rather unsexy brassière slung over her wrist like a Kate Spade clutch?”
To which the answer was, most decidedly, YES! She did!
With a thousand apologies spewing from my lips, in my humblest English accent (I do find a good Downton Abby accent gets me out of all kinds of sticky situations without criminal charges being pressed), I paid for the bra and left – embarrassed and contrite.
The understanding shop owner had silently watched me pick up the bra, turn to my friend to exclaim that I’d been looking for one just like it (yes, I wear unattractive underwear … for comfort!), sling it nonchalantly over my wrist (to buy later … I promise), get distracted by a number of beautiful shiny objects in the jewelry area, and then absent-mindedly turn to leave; completely unaware that I was still carrying the underwear I’d so admired for its practicality and comfort!
Her grace, humor and understanding kept me out of jail and in a slightly heady, euphoric mood for the rest of the day. I had the clear sense that I’d dodged a speeding bullet or at least an awkward conversation with my teenagers about underwear, policemen and dangers of mixing the two.
But as the day wore on, my relief turned to reflection as I felt God nudge me (not too unsubtly I might add) to think about the day’s events and the allegorical connection between my lingerie thieving and my tendency towards emotional kleptomania.
“How much emotional baggage, invisibly slung over your wrist, are you carrying around with you on a day to day basis?” He asked.
Whoa! He had me there! Busted! Guilty as charged. He’d seen right through me.
As I looked at myself, I saw my arm, tired and exhausted from carrying the weight of emotions and beliefs that I’ve refused to put down over the years. There were slightly hippy looking hurts from growing up in the 70’s swinging next to beliefs from the 80’s still lurid in their neon ra-ra skirts. Work related resentments, deep unforgiveness from failed relationships and ugly self-beliefs, all tumbling down my arm like thrift store rejects.
“I’m not good enough.”
“I can’t forgive him”
“You’ll leave me.”
And so the list went on … and on … and on! Boy do I have some spring cleaning ahead of me!!
Thankfully, just like the shop-keeper, God’s grace and humor prevail. And like the shop-keeper, He knows I didn’t mean to pick up all that emotional detritus along the bumpy road of life. He knows it weighs me down and can get me into all sorts of trouble. And He knows just how to help me put it down. And He forgives me.
The one BIG difference between my new favorite shop owner and God, is that He paid for me. I don’t owe a thing. Nada. Zip. Zero. All I have to do is put them down and let go. Of course that’s easier said than done, but I think it will be worth it.
So, that’s how God spoke to a dippy, English kleptomanic, through a very unattractive piece of underwear, about how to lay down her emotional baggage! Wow. I guess He meant it when He said,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
I love His sense of humor!
As always, I’d love you to join me as a journey through my on going story with my God. What’s He nudging you to see today? Do you have as much emotional baggage slowing you down as I do? Let me invite you to lay it all down with God. He’s already paid for it so you don’t have to. What a gentleman!