Sunday, July 05, 2015

We Are All the Misfit Toys

This morning was rough.  A spat between Hubs and I left me going to church alone with our kids to work in the church nursery, to serve others when I wanted to sing songs and hear a good word.  I just threw my (newly purple and very unwashed) hair in a bun and put on clean clothes.  I held crying babies and shushed the loud play of my own kids whose voices echoed down the shiny hallways of the summer-empty school we use as a place to gather.  I was crabby.  I was tired from being up too late the night before, for the Independence Day fireworks.  I was looking for connection.

After packing up the nursery early (all the sobbing babies left early with their daddies) and heading to the auditorium hoping to hear one last song before the service ended, I walked in just as the Benediction finished and all of the clean and shiny folks in the auditorium turned to gather their stuff and go.  Disappointed again, I searched for friendly faces while my kids ran to grab a piece of the leftover flatbread that serves as The Body during communion.  Amidst the constant wrangling of the three children (currently ages 2, 4 and 6) I was able to grab snatches of conversation.  A phone number of a new friend.  A hug or three.  Between hugs and brief conversations I had to once again go rescue my youngest from sure disaster or give out one more admonition to my older ones to not be so wild.  I felt the pull of the work of motherhood on my heart and mind when what I wanted was the freedom to talk and connect.

And then I see sweet M across the room and go to hug her neck.  We talk briefly of music and our conversation dips into the shallower pools of life while I am barely able to make eye contact with her because of having to constantly track the two year old who seems determined to leave the building without me and run to the main road.  (at least that is my fear)  She is on the edge of a group of mixed younger people, all shades of dewy youthful skin, a beautiful diversity of hearts, minds, abilities, occupations, and gender.  I feel the tinge of green-eyed envy of their beautiful young lives creep in a bit as I once again remind my 4 yr old to not leap from the stage onto the drum set.  I say with a smile, "Are these The Singles?"
"Yes," M replies. "The island of misfit toys."
And I pause and with all I can muster to gather my scattered brain and speak clearly I say, "I think we all are misfit toys.  Just because I'm married and older doesn't mean I'm not lonely.  We all have our stuff to figure out."  I wish I had had my head on straight or didn't have to chase down my youngest little guy who once again was set to exit the building, because I wanted to say so much more.

I think this is the disease of humanity; to look on another and suppose that their life is somehow better than ours.  To compare our insides to their outsides and come up lacking.  To feel lonely and excluded because we aren't married and have a companion, or to feel lonely and excluded because we are married and don't have the freedom to run around and be social whenever we want.  To long for babies or to long for a break from the hard work of babies.  To see a group of women or men and suppose that they are all the best of friends and no one will ever truly know me.  That no one sees or cares how we are hurting.  That if they knew how we were hurting or the messiness of our lives, that they would turn their backs because it is too hard.  Too overwhelming.  Too much.  These are the lies that we buy into that keep us from pressing in and finding connection.  These are the false truths we wrap our hearts around as a consolation. 

And I still do it.  Even though I know better.  For example: I still choose to suppose that those awesome girls I work out with are all really best friends and I am the odd one out.  That so and so over there has the best marriage ever and they never fight so I must be defective somehow and I shouldn't call her because she will think I am too unhealthy of a human being to associate with.

And the truth is this:  We are all broken and beautiful.  We are all the misfit toys.  We are called into fellowship with one another and it might be messy and ugly.  So I hope today I can press in to true connection and be real and open and honest and broken with others.  To go deeper places in life with people who love Jesus and people who don't.  To follow the path that has been set before me, even if it doesn't look like the (seemingly much cooler) path that others are on.  To release the comparison and the envy and grow in grace and love for those around me.  And I hope you can too.  I'd like to do that with you.

1 comment:

Christy Nicholson said...

So true, my friend!

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