From the Outside In

It started as a Spirograph design, changing pen colours as I went around the circuit on a piece of white paper.

That was a few days ago. Yesterday, I called myself “a total loser” while speaking to a good friend of mine, and my friend later sent me a message I need to remember:

“You are one of God’s beloved so therefore you cannot be a loser in anybody’s eyes, including your own. Just rejoice in the fact you are in God’s favour. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!

I know the message is true — we are all God’s beloved — but like most people, when it comes to applying this message to myself, I can’t quite believe it.

After lunch today, still feeling blue, I set a Christian Hits station burbling in the background and pulled out my Spirograph set. Saw the drawing from the other day, and started colouring it from the outside in.

It wasn’t until I’d reached the centre, hours later, and filled it with my favourite colour, that I realized I’d been creating a picture of my own eye.

I cut carefully around the little artwork’s edges and glued it to a piece of cardstock. It looks left, towards the message my friend sent. Both are taped to the drawer face of a little desktop cubby my father built decades ago.

My Card

Dear Tucker,

Did it! Made my own wallet card. Just for me. To remind myself, when necessary, that I’m not a total waste of the planet’s atmosphere. The pompous attitude of the green letters of my name disturbed me a little, so I added the more modest blue letters inside them; now the green ones look like balloons.

As you were saying yesterday, our pets make us laugh because they remind us of ourselves but in an uninhibited, kooky kind of way. Well, so do toddlers. So am using “toddler of God” to describe my faith life. In contrast, the expression “child of God” to me smacks of a veneer of fictitious purity and goodness and obedience we glue onto our children, and even our adult selves — yuck. I’m a toddler, I do my own thing, squawking when I hurt and running headlong into places I shouldn’t, and God laughs indulgently at my silliness. None of us can live up to the expectations of other humans, but God always says we’ll do.

The fridge magnet next to the card was given me by my sweetie. The fine print in the corner reads, “Write your story / sing your songs / speak truth into the hard spots.” I know the first line of that advice depends on the third line. Unfortunately, although my Fear Sharks are fine with me singing, they’ve done a swell job of six-fathoming all that story material that you’ve guessed is in me somewhere. Where is it? Maybe it’s what’s stuffing those green balloon letters on my card. Now there’s a conundrum: how can I insert a butterfly to draw out some of that material, without exploding the balloon?

Golly, this is decent stuff. If I get up the nerve to start a new blog, this may well be my first entry. As always, Tucker, thanks for listening.

– Janet.