31 days to coming home: a vow to be conscious.

There’s love in the stillness of a hallway. Hospitals, high schools, malls. I used to love middle school group assignments, breaking into our huddles of five & segregating ourselves from the voices of the others, so that our ideas were most original, our answers most in depth. I raced to be the hallway group, working right beyond the classroom doors, aligning our spines with the lockers. It was the sounds of the footsteps approaching that reeled me in, the ones you heard before you saw, trying to guess what figure beheld that sound of clicking heels. I was fascinated by the woman who’s presence always sounded the same, the way he always hung his head to count the tiles.

The grace in a presence is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

& it’s funny, because as women, we’re made to believe that tinker bell, airless strides that slip by unnoticed are the most valued, & the more self conscious we become of our stomach pouch, the more we take note of the weighty feet we press into the earth with such volume.

There was a point when I’d stop here, tell you to eat the cake & love your piddle paddle sound. But, baby, there’s more.

Because if nothing else, this is proof of God’s unfailing love & continuous purpose over your life. Footsteps. This thing in which He hasn’t made you silent.

This thing where your presence isn’t just announced, but it’s welcomed in by the wind & the floor boards, all rounding up to announce your honor is here. Fearlessly, beautifully adorned & welcomed in.

This is the present & you are here & this is you. In the present. Both gifts made for this day.

Because I was in church on Sunday, & it was the kind of story that keeps going, falling on ears that carry to other ears that carry to other ears. & this is what I heard. That we were made with purpose & no one else can take our place.

& usually I’d stop listening & think, ‘how cheesy’, but this day The Lord led me on, further than the thought that he can’t do this without me, in the big picture. He took me deeper. He brought me into each day, into the grocery line where she stands digging for a nickel in front of me, into the work day where the customer calls in & lashes out on the wrong people. He brought me into this day & these particular places I would go & those fresh faces I would glaze, & that unfortunate situation that would burn. & he reminded me that I am the only one standing behind her in the grocery line, I am the only one receiving this particular lashing, & I am the only one who will pick up on some of their faces in this day. & he reminded me that I have an option.

We always have an option.

Because sometimes I see myself wanting to laugh it off. Laugh off the idea that I am the only one who can do what God designated me to do. I want to say that God, with all his might, doesn’t need me to do his dirty work. I want to say that God made people covering the earth with way better stature than me, way better consistency, we better attitudes. & so the idea of me being his one & only girl to get a job done? Well, that’s nonsense.

& I know I’m not alone. Maybe you think the same things. Maybe it’s all silliness to make us feel needed. But maybe it’s not. Maybe there’s more. Maybe there’s these things we want to say don’t matter for no other reason than we don’t want to be held accountable. We want to be told it’s okay to treat people how they treat us. We want to cradle our grudges.

Love is always a choice. & I can’t tell you I always choose it but judging the people I come in contact with everyday, neither do you. & so maybe we need to take the vow to be conscious. To live beyond glazed eyes & dull minds. To live with purpose like never before, purpose we never believed was truly ours.

We want kindness & we have a duty, my dear.

& so this day, may we be challenged to lean in. Always lean in. To imagine our words like literal light or darkness, pouring out of us, & that we’d choose light. Always choose light. & that we’d be offenseless, not allowing bitterness grips at our heart but rather that we’d allow our heart to remain in the hands of our Redeemer, the keeper of our soul.

It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.

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