As I was running yesterday afternoon (how I came to love running is another story for another time) I was thinking about how regular I am. In this world that calls for radical living, great sacrifice, important acts of bravery, and over-the-top achievement I really am just a plain ole normal person. In one of my papers for a counseling class in college I wrote about how average I was – I can sing well but not amazingly, I am not ugly but I am not a great beauty either, I can write well but not with any kind of stand out talent. Recently I am enjoying running but will probably always plod along at a slower pace. Basically I feel like I am generally competent at a lot of things but not really specially spectacular at any one thing.
I was actually thinking yesterday afternoon about how I am coming to accept that about myself. More than just accept it, I am learning to embrace it. I used to think that unless I was specially spectacular at something my life wouldn’t really count for much. Through no choice of my own my childhood was unique (and I love that) and I felt like I had to continue that uniqueness into adulthood. But I am learning to love the normal side of me. The side that likes routine and being snug at home and taking things slow and having time to breathe. I am learning to be happy as the person that God made me to be.
Last night we had a visitor at our home. A little boy needed a place to sleep for the night. He was dropped off around dinner time his blue eyes big as dinner plates and his eyelashes a mile long. I was given 5 minutes of his story in a quick conversation with his case manager in our driveway. Just 5 minutes of his story revealed hurt and rejection and deep rooted needs. My gut reaction is to fix. To blame those who didn’t stick with him. To come up with a plan. To promise to be the one to take away his hurts.
But I know now that I cannot do any of those things. I used to be wracked with guilt about all the things I could not do. I used to agonize over the needs I could not meet.
But here are the plain ole ordinary things I can do:
I can feed him a good warm meal. I can give him a safe and loving place to play for a few hours. I can give him some of my attention. I can give him a comfy bed to sleep in. I can give him breakfast in the morning. I can drive him to school. I can give him a hug and tell him it was nice to meet him.
There is joy and peace in doing the plain ole ordinary things that I can do.