Back In The Water.
“Back in the water, ma’am,” she said in her thickly accented broken English as she bent over my feet and worked to uncover what looked like actual skin instead of my impossibly tough heels that have come from a lifetime predilection for bare feet.
Brian had given me a gift certificate for a manicure and pedicure for Mother’s Day (in the middle of May) that I was finally using last week (at the end of September, because that’s how I roll). I decided to ignore everything else I needed to do because I have been struggling on and off for a while with the idea that I really am not actually God and so my schedule and daily life should reflect that understanding.
[On a side note, lest you worry about my ego or my mental status, I am 100% fully aware that I am not, in fact, the God of the universe, the almighty Creator, the Triune God whose vastness and power and love we cannot begin to understand. (And given my limited proficiency in math and my zero proficiency in quantum physics, it is a great and blessed thing for all concerned that I am not, in fact, in charge of designing or running the universe.) But sometimes in recent years [read: my entire adult life] I have realized that I have kept so busy [read: frenzied] and have had the mentality that I Must Do And Accomplish All Things At All Times that really, some quiet inner part of me begins to speak up now and then and say, “Hey! Mad! If you’re not the God of the universe, then guess what?! You don’t have to go, go, go and spin, spin, spin at all hours of the day and night (and then feel guilty for the few minutes when you rest) because The Fate Of The World does not depend on you! Work hard? Yes! Work smart? Yes! Work a.l.l. t.h.e. t.i.m.e. and completely ignore God’s instruction, not to mention His example, to rest, say, at least one day out of every seven? Uh no. Not if you understand that not everything actually depends on you.” It’s a quiet voice, but it’s persistent. And so it’s been breaking through the noise over the course of the last year (or twenty).]
So there I sat. In that 60 minutes of a break from my to dos, I soaked in (literally and physically) the water that was transforming my skin from hardened to smooth.
The quiet lady named Cathy, who if I had to guess I’d say was born and reared in Vietnam, would lift one foot out of the water, tend to it in her special, trained way, and then say ever so gently, “Back in the water, ma’am,” as she returned that foot and started to work on the other.
It came to me: yes, that’s exactly what I need. It’s what we all need … as long as we all understand that the water we need is the Living Water, the One who never leaves us thirsty, the One who goes deeper than our skin and transforms our hearts and our self-focused habits from hardened to smooth.
Feeling frenzied? Back in the Water.
Feeling impatient with spouse and kids and only seeing the bad, not the good? Back in the Water.
Feeling frustrated over not accomplishing weight loss goals or work goals or time management goals? Back in the Water.
Feeling discouraged over finances? Back in the Water.
Wondering where to go from here in the midst of grief? Back in the Water.
Wondering how to talk to your teen about the freight train you see coming that seems invisible to him? Back in the Water.
Looking for the right way to communicate with a distant spouse who seems to care about everything in the world except you? Back in the Water.
Looking for what to do about ISIS, abortion, racial tension, and the world’s seeming clinical obsession with everything related to the Kardashians? Back in the Water.
Wondering how to help a friend going through a health crisis? Back in the Water.
Wanting clear direction on how to live and not just exist? Back in the Water.
When our kids were littler than they are now and they would get a bit rough around the edges with each other, we found that what was needed to turn what was hardened into something smooth was water: playing with it, playing in it, bathing in it, swimming in it, or drinking it.
Turns out it works for grown-ups, too … only the kind we need doesn’t get our hair wet or some in a glass. It cleans and softens us from the inside out. Best Water we can imagine. And He’s available to everyone.