Yesterday, I was contemplating radical actions that would result in a change for the better. Naturally, I started with what I could change easily about myself. My thought was a radical hairstyle that would be manageable and no longer fly in my mouth every time a gust of wind swirls around me. Our hair is the first thing we notice in the morning and sets he tone for our day. Too often we are evaluating and comparing ourselves with the girlfriends who have great hair and outfits. Our confidence is often built around our hair, makeup and bling. Anyway, little change-up might give me a radical new perspective that may be less obsessive. I thought about the radical changes other people have made to give their lives completely to helping others. Examples are: selling all they have and giving selflessly, donating their expertise without compensation, providing food and shelter for strangers, adopting homeless children, leaving their families to go on missions or working tirelessly for social change. A haircut is hardly worth a mention. The real radical actions that I have considered were becoming a foster parent, or spending a year in a mission field. I have not ruled those out. I pondered giving full effort to a single social change to promote a healthier and moral society. I pictured a campaign to promote purity to put an end to sexually transmitted disease and abortions. My dad would say, “Possible, but improbable”. I imagined ministering to all those who are isolated in medical facilities and institutions ( and so Dr Sing A Song was created ). I feel a radical love to serve others, to provide a comfortable place for people to meet, and to share the good news of God’s redemption. But, I am slowing down, I need help in my efforts or I would gladly join the efforts of others who are struggling with like minded missions. I want to have a radical faith that assures me that I am going in the right direction and that allows me to trust God and not cling to my vain efforts to feel attractive or popular. I want to live a radical life and not the sedentary one I keep slipping into. The best parts of who I am are God given. Now it is time to give back. If you are looking for a radical helper, I am the one with the short silvery hair.
Yesterday, I hollered for my daughter, Elise, to quickly come to my rescue. In my bedroom about eight feet up the wall was a gigantic Palmetto Bug. This can be expected in the most respected homes of Charleston after torrential rain showers, but I was not going to sleep with a three inch beast above my head. You might as well know; I am a merciless killer of indoor insects. Spiders, cockroaches, and ants don’t have a chance when I spot them. Earwigs, centipedes, flies, and all creepy crawlies have met their demise when they surprise me. Elsie may have considered a capture and release to the outdoors, being that she is married to the Director of Animal Science and her grandmother allowed spiders to live in the corners of her house to eat tinier bugs, but I did not give her time to mull that over. I said, “Keep your eye on thing while I get a weapon”. I returned quickly with my faithful Croc Flipflop and the shower squeegee. I asked Elise to get on my bed to reach the roach with the squeegee and knock him down while I was ready to smack it with my deadly Flipflop. Elise jumped on the bed and fully extended to nudge Mr Intruder. “He’s a flyer”, we squealed as he soared toward her face. I jumped on the bed with her and gave him a whack the second he landed on the wall. He fell to the pillow and immediately I brushed him on the floor, found a Kleenex tissue to wrap him up and flushed him down the toilet. Goosebumps settled after we did a brief check to see if any other “friends” we’re hiding in the room. Do you really expect me to find spiritual meaning in this event? Perhaps I should feel guilty in the extermination of creation’s smallest Animalia. I could possibly find ways to love the creatures that bite me when I am not looking. Like biting remarks; the pain rarely lasts more than an hour or a day. If we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us; does this mean insects too? I have work to do on the acceptance of all creatures. Our homes are meant to be a safe haven from anything that would do us harm- bugs and germs included, so I clean house to prevent or remove them every week. There are things that bug me more than bugs. Liars, thieves, bullies, and destructive people might top the list. Rather than sweeping them out with my Hoover vacuum cleaner; I encourage all people to be truthful, honest, kind, and helpful. These character traits were as important as reading, writing and arithmetic when I instructed children in my classroom. Please forgive me for my fearless and ruthless attack on the innocent insects. Better not bug me though, because if I am wearing my Croc flip flops there is no telling what I might do.
This week, I missed my connecting flight due to a one hour delay of the first flight, due to a one hour storm over Chicago. This almost happened a month and a half ago when I was connecting through Chicago, but we were able to get a seat on the last flight out, only to get home at three in the morning. Who said traveling was glamorous and restful? Lately, travel has been my occupation in an attempt to stay connected with the people I love and wish to help. I am worn out. I am feeling like an old gray dishrag. Maybe it is time to stay put to rejuvenate. Luckily, I have dear friends who work in Chicago and live in the suburb of Hinsdale. I text Lise to see if she would take a wayfaring traveler in for the night, because the next available flight was nine o’clock the next morning. She and her Hubby, Ed, welcomed me, served a delicious meal that included corn on the cob, and provided a soft comfy bed for sleeping. The best part was that we had time to connect and catch up on the family doings. It is connection with people that is most important. Well, connection with the One to whom we pray each day is the top of the list for setting the tone of our lives and making sure our minds are focused on connecting with others in a kind, gentle, and patient way. At the airport, I listened to stories of irate people who spent the night and were disgruntled over the lack of service from the airline. I could have been one of those people making demands and getting nowhere. Instead, I was blessed by the loving friendship of Lise and Ed and felt like it was divine intervention. I have learned that adversity often brings us happy surprises which we call serendipity. I know that it is the Heavenlies that surround us and guide us to the best outcomes. Staying connected takes constant effort, and I am not doing a good job with everyone whom I would like to stay in touch. I cherish the connections I have made with my Totally Fit Friends. They are part of a community of women who gather every month and find avenues to build whole bodies, healthy mindsets, and spiritual strength. For those who are not on Facebook, do not use a cell phone ( no texting, Instagram or Snapchat, oh my!) do not have an email address or an answering machine. Yikes! How to communicate in the modern world? Good thing I have forever stamps and a thousand pens. A few people are going to get snail mail from me soon. I hope it does not get thrown away with the flyers and coupons that make for so much junk mail. There is still, of course, the ever popular “just showing up on the doorstep”. Missed connections should never turn into misconceptions that we do not care. Also, to my FOMO friends (fear of missing out), I have learned that trying to make too many connections from one outlet can cause a short in the circuit. Try not to overload but let’s stay connected.
Yesterday, I hit the skies again to fly to new territory. This trip is to Albuquerque to visit Hannah and Brian who are about to buy their first home. I needed to leave the house before daybreak at 5am, so naturally, I woke every hour to check the time. I am not an alarmist and do not use an alarm clock. I finally woke at 4:30 and got up and to the airport in plenty of time to park the car, zip through TSA and walk calmly to my gate for boarding. It turns out that Charleston had three gates for flights to Chicago, but only one was listed on the screen, and so I went to B1. Well, that flight was at 9:30, so I hustled to B3. That flight was the right time, but to Midway airport. I checked my ticket again: ah, B4 across the hall, right time, right place, right airline. It is a wonder my hubby lets me travel without him, and yet, I always get to where I am going on time. It is great to have the paperless ticket on the cellphone, but it requires glasses and a magnifying glass to read it. I almost tried using a copy of a mailing slip to get through security when I turned on my phone and the QR code was right there looking like the same design as the plane ticket. I may not look like a clown without my red nose on, but comical Kim is always in me chuckling and waiting to emerge. I have learned the humor is healing, which may be why our family is fairly healthy. We laugh everyday, even if it is only by texting emojis. I like to imagine that the miraculous healing that Jesus “performed” was accompanied with laughter and amazement. Smiles and joy were surely the response when his followers regained the freedom to walk, see, hear, and live anew. So often, I wonder if I am heading in the right direction with my activities, or finding the right gate to enter. Ultimately, the pearly gate it something we all are seeking, but where is it exactly? Is it really a portal to heaven? Is it a metaphor for all the arms that are waiting to embrace our soul and spirit when we reach the “other side”? I don’t have an answer or venture to guess. I completely trust the Savior that says, “Follow me”. He asks us to engage in a radical life with radical faith and love. This requires getting uncomfortable and being more assertive than I thought I could. The clown inside is ready and willing. When I see a situation, I actually think to myself, “This is my circus, send in the clowns”. Next project is the “Race for the Cure”, in which I have formed a Totally Fit Friends team. I have a red nose for anyone who joins our team October 15 on Daniel Island, SC. A BIG thank you goes out to Aunt Sue, Cousin Rob, Uncle Richard, and Uncle Walter who were the first to contribute to our team! Contributions help support prevention, early detection and research that is closing in on a cure for breast cancer. You may donate or sign up online with this link:
Thank you to all who help me find my way everyday. See you at the starting gate.