Psalm 37:23-24 “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
I went back to church the next Sunday. Armed with the Rabbi’s thoughts on church, I made myself sit in the middle instead of the very back pew. I ordered myself to calm down and take a deep breath as I prepared to “draw near” as per the Rabbi’s instructions. Up till this point I had used church like an aspirin, something to make me feel better. Now I was gearing up to forget me, me, me and focus on Him, Him, Him.
The music began and the worship team launched into a popular gospel tune. I caught myself lip synching again, and I made myself stop. Singing aloud definitely counts as a sacrifice in my book, especially with a signing voice as terrible as mine. So I sang, raised my hands to God and felt…a softness. Tenderness. Something bigger than me. It was like the little voice was there, enjoying listening to me sing, unconcerned with my warbling vocals. And when the service was over I found I didn’t have the urge to rush off.
A couple of weeks and two fasts later I hopped out of bed, refreshed from another night of solid zee’s. I went through my usual beauty routine, which frankly resembles a NASCAR pit stop. Why take an hour to carefully apply make-up when you can just slap it on in less than a minute? I have a friend that sells beauty products who would accuse me of not being a woman if she really knew how fast I am with a mascara wand.
I pulled on my jeans, zipped and buttoned them, and they fell down.
Hello! Stunned I pulled them up and raced to the bathroom mirror. Courtesy of my lightning quick grooming I never really take the time to look at myself, plus I have so much fat it is gross to look at. It would gag a maggot, as my dad likes to say. So I never look.
But today I looked. I squeezed rolls and smooshed it around. It felt different, less somehow. Checking myself out in the mirror I could see how very baggy my favorite pair of jeans had become, like MC Hammer’s pants back in the nineties.
I own a scale. It sits broken in a corner of my bathroom. Yes, I broke it. I like to think that it was poorly made, but the reality is more like the scale depicted in the Garfield cartoons, “Get off me, fatty, I can’t breathe!”
So I couldn’t weigh myself, but I did the next best thing. I went to my closet and pulled out my “skinny” jeans, which was the next size down. Like many of you I keep some of my clothes even though they no longer fit, daydreaming that maybe one day I could squeeze back into them.
I tried on the smaller jeans, and they fit! I could zip them up without sprawling out on the bed and sucking in my tummy! I could sit down in them without cutting off oxygen and circulation! I could wear them and not worry about having a stroke!
I danced around my bedroom, whooping my delight like a little kid on Christmas morning. I skipped downstairs to the kitchen to show my teenager, who replied with typical teen honesty, “Wow, mom, your butt isn’t shaped like such a blob anymore.” Those of you with teenagers will know that was actually a genuine compliment.
Happiness bloomed within me that morning. And like a plant will lean towards a ray of sunshine I began to lean towards all I learned since I first heard the little voice.