Last night, while my people counted sheep and my man sawed logs, I painted my toes crimson.
It was late and my head was swimming with the things of today and that red bottle of polish sang to me from the toothpaste drawer.
Come on, no one will notice anyway.
So I did.
I painted my ten little piggies in a bold shade of scarlet and I smiled with each stroke of audacity.
Because audacity sometimes gives birth to bravery.
And bravery, well, bravery, most times, makes room for change.
This morning, I served donuts to the first 3 kids out of bed. The donuts were the powdered sugar and cinnamon kind, the kind you buy from the bread store for less than a dollar a bag. Eighteen little circles of goodness, divided among the three lucky ones.
The kids felt treated to something special and I smiled because they knew no different. Donuts are special, no matter the cost. I envied them, the way they licked their fingers and gave no thought to calories or points or grams of sugar.
When the good things are handed to you on a plate rimmed in blue, you give no thought to the cost or consequence or the truth that not everyone wakes to six little donuts on a plate.
You just enjoy them for what they are: an unlikely, unexpected gift of sweet goodness.
And you smile, a big sugar covered smile, because it’s never occurred to you that others have never tasted something so sweet.
Because to consider another’s lack would mess with your own abundance,
Even if your abundance looks like a dollar bag of donuts.
On Saturday, we climbed hundred year old bleachers and watched our girl cheer on the home team. Both teams were home teams and one team lacked a player, so our girl finished early,
A whole half early.
I took in the old bleachers and the unfinished floor and the mismatched uniforms.
I soaked up the rows of people who seemed to belong to no one.
And the part of me that had big dreams for this league died somewhere on those hardwood bleachers.
It died because my one ounce of bravery met my 3 ounces of audacity and the two of them decided that God could not win out in that broken down gym filled with poor, broken down people.
Because surely, God’s blessing, His favor, is most obviously poured out in matching uniforms, squeaky clean courts, and stands filled with monogram covered fans.
This evening, snow covers our street and our wood stove puffs black soot out over all my white baseboards, and I’m curled up under a fuzzy brown blanket.
I savor a 5 point glass of Merlot and I’m toasty warm, from the inside, out.
My phone dings with messages of kids who will come late in the morning and I sigh, relishing the extra hours of sleep before I ever lay down my head.
This gift of snow translates into hours of rest for me,
Yet, I am keenly aware that this gift of snow translates into cold homes and missed hourly wages for the majority of my neighbors.
My gift of rest is bittersweet, it’s edges tinged with poverty and hardship and problems that I do not want to admit exist a few doors down,
Because to admit that my joy is another’s sorrow is to invite my God to wreck my pretty little world.
And isn’t that why Jesus came?
To wreck the whole wide world,
To turn our upside kingdom, upside down,
To make us see our neighbors as our brothers and sisters,
To see our abundance through their eyes,
And to recognize that His favor doesn’t always translate into pretty little lives filled with blue rimmed plates of donuts.
I watch the school closings scroll across the bottom of the television screen, and I think about the space where my brave and the audacity of Jesus meet and I shudder in the middle of that space-
For the place where they meet is messy ground, and I’m not yet ready to take the hill.