My daughter took my picture this past weekend. This morning, as I sat on the front porch steps under the stars, I saw her work glowing up at me from the ipad.
My first thought upon seeing my image from somewhere other than the bathroom mirror was from a not-so-distant past: ewww.
My second thought upon seeing my image from somewhere other than the bathroom mirror was from a not-so-distant past: what will people think?
And then I looked up.
Orion and his belt were looking down at us, and my thoughts shifted to the days of Jeanine, days of early mornings in the darkness, walking with my friend through the sleepy streets, talking about work and star formations, smelling the hash browns from McDonalds as we walked by, and Jeanine giving me boosts of confidence and being Jesus, living out Colossians 3:17 to a wounded and hurting soul.
And thinking of those days made me come back to the front porch, and I began to reflect on how far I’ve come in five short years.
I looked back down at my picture, and I smiled.
Who woulda thought…
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. – Colossians 3:15-17 (The Message)
So, after the kitchen screen door closed, Sam walked to his truck and said what he says every morning when he leaves – “Love my wife!” – and he pulled out of the drive, I grabbed the rubber work gloves that might keep my hands warm, locked the door and headed down the street, pre-sunrise visible over the trees, next block over. Partly because I had pleasant memories in my mind of Orion above and Jeanine by my side, partly because my daughter’s beautiful picture was a reminder that I really should get back to walking…
It was a glorious morning in small town USA. I made sure to notice everything I could along the way, and I appreciated it all in silent grateful prayer, every step of the way.
- Everyone waves, not just the old guys.
- Brick streets are becoming a rarity and should be preserved.
- It’s a privilege to watch the morning sunrise and steam lifting from the grass on a brisk morning.
- Main street shops are fun to walk by, peering into the windows before shop owners arrive.
- A little boy, Annistan’s age I suppose, was riding his motorized car up and down his sidewalk, and waved with a big loud, “Hi!”
- I followed a fairly good-sized group of Moms and their children, and at first, I couldn’t figure out why a fairly good-sized group of Moms and their children would be out walking at the dawn of a new day, and then I saw the signs for “Walk and Roll,” small town USA’s version of a “walking school bus.” What a very cool idea.
- Meeting a neighbor as my walk ended and my work day started was a highlight – small town USA might know more than we know about ourselves, but it also comes with really nice neighbors.
And as I began my work day here in the upstairs of our grand old home in small town USA, my beautiful daughter emailed me these words:
“We all have things that make us unique and no one will ever be perfect. Embrace your smile, eyes and head tilt…you will feel much better. They make you…you. U don’t notice these things in anyone else and we don’t notice them in you. They are not imperfect at all…just you. Everyone points out these things about themselves and they are always things others love about them.
I think/know u look great!!! I don’t see any extra pounds and it makes me sad that you do! Like for real! U r perfect just the way you are. – Karissa
I am so blessed.
I am so grateful.
‘Cause you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile,
you gave me Jesus and you made me your child.
So I just thank you Father for making me, ME.