My husband and I headed toward the door of our last stop before calling it a night. We were on a mission to buy pumpkin pie.
At the same moment, we made a noise that let each know we’d caught a glimpse of a person from the long ago past who left both of us feeling shaky and vulnerable … back then and now.
It was someone who, because we didn’t follow his religious rules, accused us of living out of sync with God. He told us he was living the right way, living by God’s word, living in God’s favor.
He went so far as to say that since the Bible said “Go, and sin no more,” he no longer sinned. Then asked, “What about y’all?”
I let his comments foster all sorts of self-doubt. I wondered if maybe he knew something I didn’t, that maybe I was living outside God’s favor. Maybe he was right and I was off track and far from being anyone God would love, care about, or even have much to do with.
All over again, I was blindsided by thoughts and feelings of inadequacy.
Since neither my husband nor I could remember why we were in the store, we walked up and down aisles until we got to the rack full of huge stuffed bears. We felt safe there and laughed about buying the biggest one to go under the Christmas tree for our 26-year-old daughter.
That’s when it happened.
A little girl, holding a toy dog as adorable as she was, walked around the corner of the shelves. She stood there until we both faced her, me with my arms full of bear.
“Your kids are going to love that,” she said, her expression and voice full of tenderness that’s hard to capture in words.
I followed her until she found her mom, some four rows away.
“She looks like an angel,” I said. Her mom smiled and nodded, then turned to shop.
Maybe she was, I thought.
Grateful for our “sign of comfort,” I was tempted to do what had been done to us, to conclude God picked us as his favorites, but I knew better.
He did, however, choose us as well.
Are you ever tempted to compare, knowing you’ve been the more devoted Christian? The one more favored by God? The one who’s lived your life more right than others?
WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – God doesn’t choose sides. He chooses each of us. Thankfully, his relationship with us is not contingent on what we think of each other.
On the side: To see more of Cindy’s artwork, visit An Artsy Chick.
To see more of Jim’s illustrations, visit Jim Hunt Illustration.