There we were in Costco, shopping in bulk. My posse of five and I, attracting gawkers as usual, chatting with strangers, sampling rib eye, chicken salad, and Flipsides pretzel/crackery thingies as we worked on filling up two carts and practiced our state capitals and presidents. Faster than you can say Jack Robinson someone dropped a two-pack of eggs (3 doz.) and then knocked over a chocolate mousse pie the size of a large pizza. Someone ran over a sibling's foot with one of the grocery carts (very possibly purposefully), and there was a dare to stick one's tongue on the metal freezer case. Business as usual for the Haus fam.
None of this was particularly unhappy, but I found myself in a silent complaining monologue anyway. Sometimes the scattered wildness of life with so many people constantly present does tend to lend itself to facial tics. Irritation niggled at my brain as both of the babies continued to happily shout, "Mama-mama-mama-mama-mama!" in stereo.
Then I noticed this lady nearby. My heart went out to her as she sobbed into her cell phone to a friend, a therapist, or a spiritual counsellor about her broken life, her rotten family, her no-good, cheating, you-know-what man, and her unfulfilled and sidetracked career. When she was done crying, she listened intently, took several deep, cleansing breaths and began chanting,
"I'm OK with the me. I'm OK with the now."
I couldn't get it out of my head for days. Shattered, unsupported, heartbroken, unprotected, misused, abandoned, stifled, and overlooked... All these overwhelming emotions and she had no Jesus to turn to. I found myself praying for Costco Basketcase Lady for all the troubles that plague her, but mostly that she would turn to the Lord instead of positive thinking, or mantra chanting, or eastern philosophies, or life coaching, or sublimation, or whatever mind/head guruisms she was relying on to scratch through life.
One of my girlfriends told me this week that she has struggled with envy because she thinks I've got it all together. What a hoot! I'll tell you I haven't had such a good laugh in a long, long time. Man oh man, I don't know what on earth convinced her of that! But, even though my life is just as messy as everyone else's, I'm so grateful that I have Jesus to cover my black hearted sinfulness, Jesus to heal my brokenness, Jesus to lean on, Jesus to love me unconditionally through it all!
Life is always messy. That's why they call it life. It's happy. It's crushing. Sometimes it's glorious. Sometimes it really sucks. Seasons of pain follow seasons of joy follow seasons of pain. Do you know anyone who has gotten away scott free from the hard stuff? I don't. Where are these magical people who have it all together?
Watching poor Costco Basketcase Lady trying to find a worldly remedy to her pile of crummy stuff going on made me wonder, though. How often do I turn to coping mechanisms instead of the Way, the Truth, and the Life? Yikes, I fear it is far, far too often.
So, this week I've been keeping that thought on the front burner. Even though I am currently without household help, even though wifing, and mommying, and housekeeping, and potty training, and homeschooling, and all the other balls I am juggling at the same time keep me no where near having it all together, with Jesus...
I'm OK with the me. I'm OK with the now.