I walked the sunny pavement. Slowly, one footstep and then another.
I just had a baby; my body was healing.
And the people around me moved fast--moved to the beat of the loud music. Moved to keep up with the frantic pace of their life.
But I had to walk slowly.
Sometimes stitches keep your heart quieter. Sometimes Jesus slows you down to listen to His still, small voice amid the clutter and chaos of life.
He slowed me down. And I could hear Him more clearly again.
I needed some comfortable t-shirts. When I brought my drab findings to the boy behind the counter of the Bass store, he asked me for my first name.
I paused. "I'd rather not," I said. And then I quipped, "I prefer to remain anonymous."
His head jerked up, surprised. "That's ok," he spoke laughing, "I would like to live by myself in the woods."
Sometimes anonymity is appealing. In a world where "the individual" has become all important and everyone is their own superstar.
I wished to remain anonymous.
And I walked down the crowded walkway again and all the sights and the delicious smells and the perfumed bodies with the sleek, smooth hair swirled around me.
And the men in their designer clothes and their pointy shoes and the children in their Gap and Hannah-Andersen motifs.
I saw my own image in the tinted window -- a bedraggled specimen of sleep-deprivation and baggy maternity leftovers -- the only clothes that I could fit in.
My youthful glory-departed, my mind briefly drifted to contemplating how many stretch marks adorned my belly and when was the last time I took a shower, anyway?
I sincerely wished to remain anonymous.
And the world around us screams in our ears that we need to be someone, that we need to stand up for ourselves, that we need to climb the social ladder, that we need more friends, more likes, more recognition.
That our hair, that our bodies need to be "just so," that we're not worth anything if we can't squeeze into a size 4.
We become so caught up in the world and its twisted thinking, that we lose sight of what is really important--
Seek first the kingdom of God . . .
Because the man, the woman who seeks His kingdom first will not be caught up in worrying about their image.
Their focus will be higher, their mind set on heavenly things; they'll be prepared to suffer persecution and hardship and deprivation for His sake.
It's hard to set the things of this world aside, to take our narrow focus off of "me" and set it upon Jesus.
It's a daily struggle for me. Because who wants to forever "remain anonymous," to shrink smaller so that Christ can shine more brightly in our bodies?
We want to shine -- but He wants us to reflect His light, not just propel our own little spark.
Sometimes He has to bring us low to teach us this truth -- His glory, not ours -- whether through pain or illness or through a difficult or overwhelming situation.
"The world is too much with us," said the poet, and God is weaning our hearts from the self-love that grips this earthy terrain and hangs on too tightly to its pleasures and promises.
He's humbling our hearts for something better--
The day when we will wake and be made in His likeness, a reflection not of ourselves, but of His overwhelming, all-beautiful grace.
You might find me on these link-ups:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, Inspire Me Monday, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, SDG Gathering, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Motivate and Rejuvenate Mondays, So Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every Season, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, Testimony Tuesday, Tell His Story, A Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Women With Intention Wednesdays, Messy Marriage, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Theology Thursdays, Children Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Thought Provoking Thursday, Every Day Jesus, Count My Blessings, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul Survival, Good Morning Mondays, The Weekend Brew, Blessing Counters Link Party, The HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link Up, Grace and Truth Linkup, Faith Filled Friday, Saturday Soiree Blog Party, Tell It To Me Tuesdays, SHINE Blog Hop, Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop, Motivate and Rejuvenate Monday Link-Up, A Little R&R Wednesdays. TGI Saturdays Blog Hop. Totally Terrific Tuesday, RaRaLinkup
1.MikeKalasnik / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
2.Collin Key / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)