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Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Tonight as I showered, and ran the soap through my hair, I was reminded of that one episode in Grey's Anatomy.

It’s that one where Meredith is covered in the remains of a member of the bomb squad following a homemade piece exploding and Cristina and Izzy, all three in scrubs, pull Meredith into the hospital shower and wash her hair and rinse the blood from her face.  Meredith seems hollowed out, empty, unable to cope with what just happened (and who could?!) and her friends - her sisters in the truest sense - gather around and they don’t talk.  They just offer love and clean water, as their hands aim to push away what covers their friend - they rinse away the shock and the pain and, well, the plain blood.

I am blessed with some of the best friends a girl could ever have.  They are the ones who climb into my second-story apartment when I locked myself out.  They are the ones who never forget that we love the same ice cream or my favorite little things.  They are the ones who have prayed for me when everything felt stacked against.  They are the ones who claim themselves as “Aunts” to my boys.  They are the ones who rushed over when  dating days were stupid and painful or sent flowers when my cat died.  They are the ones who email me every day, who see every little facet of my life (not just the stuff that is Facebook-status worthy) and would fly, run, or skateboard their way to me if they had to.  

They’d probably wash blood and guts off of me, too.

I think there are days we have to get through with each other.  When harder times come, I think sometimes how it makes love creep out of the woodwork, and so often, isn’t that what we really, really need anyway?  To know we’re not alone or invisible?  One of my best friends persisted for months following my December birthday to make sure I got my birthday gift.  I think I got it six or seven months belated and it was perfect and thoughtful and I loved everything she squeezed in that box - but most of all I felt so deeply loved by her.  She wasn’t going to give up on a gift, even though I would have understood and hey, we’re grown-ups - we can stay friends even without birthday presents!  But she came through for me.  And it mattered most because she wanted to.

Love isn’t something to shrug our shoulders at.

Tonight I sat on the top step, waiting for the littlest to settle and call it quits for the night.  Joel crept up and sat next to me, his back straight, his little hands folded and I could have melted for all the sweetness that is that boy of mine.  And he looked up to the cross that hangs above our front door, the cross that we hung in the chapel the day we got married, and he said, “X marks the spot!”  An episode of Mickey Mouse is etched into his mind where Pluto “digs, digs, digs” because x, indeed, marks the spot.  I tell him, as I have done many times before, “No, honey, that’s not an X... that’s a cross.” And tonight, I just sat there and stared at it.  

It’s a cross, but it’s kind of an X... and it marks the spot.

It marks the spot of sacrifice.  It marks the spot of proving, high on that hill, that I was worth dying for, worth saving, worth taking back those keys of death so there’s an eternity elsewhere... for those who believe.  It marks the spot of love and life.  It marks redemption.  It marks, clearly, the path, crooked as the ways sometimes are, straighten them He can (Ecclesiastes 7:13), and reminds us that He is the way.  He’s the map.  He’s the compass.  He’s the North Star.  He’s the X on the map.  

And He’s the treasure at the end of that straight, that narrow, that wild, twined path.

My friends... those three especially sweet women who have their callings and their gifts and their love-languages that are sometimes so different from my own... they remind me of truth, in love.  They don’t secure me in their love and leave me.  They secure me in Jesus, over and over.  They remind me that I am valued and hemmed in (Psalm 139:5).  They don’t, in a way, send a box of scented body washes and say, “Here you go - be clean and happy!” and wave over their shoulder and leave me with weight in my hands.

Instead, when it’s all too much and I can’t even look at myself or feel like breathing, they grab the loofah and the warm towels and they say it’s okay if your hair is a disaster and it’s okay if your heart is scabbed over and it’s okay if you’re not airbrushed.  Because they see me as Christ does.  And when I can’t see myself that way, they remind me that He still does.  That they still do.  

We don’t fight for victory.  We stand in it.

It is finished...  X marks the spot.

“Let nothing you dismay,
remember, Christ, our Savior 
was born on Christmas day
to save us all from Satan’s power...”

~  G o d   R e s t   Y e   M e r r y   G e n t l e m e n 


  1. I <3 you and your posts. You make me want to be a better friend to you. Also, live closer to you.

  2. I love you, too. And in my estimation, you've been the better friend. I mean, you introduced me to Ben and Jerry's. What have I ever done greater than that for you??? :o) I LOVE YOU! And yes, move closer. PLEASE.



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