When you think that she’s better than you

October 2, 2017 Rhonda Schrock Rhonda's Posts

It came to me on a scrap of land in the sea. There, where palm trees lined the white-sand path. Where yellow umbrellas sprouted like so many golden mushrooms against a Caribbean sky. Where water shaded from clear to green to delicate blues, in this paradise I heard the ancient hiss.

“She is better.”

In summer’s heat, The Boy and I had fled the cornfields of our Hoosier home for a piece of Eden. It was time to celebrate the 30 years since “I do.” Thirty years of some heaven and a little bit of hell with a side of poverty thrown in. Oh, and four boys that I’d managed not to eat as some in the animal kingdom do. (It wasn’t nothing.)

But back to paradise, and that snake.

On a powdery beach, it was humanity’s parade as women of every size, age and shape strolled by, skin turning bronze in the sun. Sitting there, I felt every one of my almost 50 years. Felt the softness those four babies had left. Cringed over breasts too small to be perfect. Suffered the lash of comparison’s whip, and of envy.

“She’s better.”

Knowing by now what to do, I held it up to the Light, the whole mess. And when I drilled down to the bottom of the sludge, here’s what I found. “It’s not fair.” This was followed by a vague sense of despair. “It will never be fair, and I am powerless to change it.”

How awful, its effects on a girl’s heart and mind. How destructive its force in her relationships. It wasn’t possible (Papa’d said this) to love someone you envy, and the cure for it all was His love.

Floating there in Caribbean waters, I closed my eyes, opened my heart and said aloud what I’ve learned to say. “Papa, teach me.”

“What if it isn’t about whether or not I’m fair…but whether or not I’m good?” Always boom time with Him, I can tell you. And then this, “So you get to be the judge of what is best?” How I love Him. In His own Papa way, He’d called me right out, saying hard, unpleasant things with such love.

“That makes you the judge of Me.”

Whoa. I had judged Him, hadn’t I? I’d decided that I’d been cheated, that I’d not been given His best, and the weight on my back had near-crushed me.

I repented that day of judging God and of judging myself and His other girls by a measuring stick He wasn’t using. I began to say “thank you” to the Potter Himself, the One Whose fingers had fashioned me. Whose fingers had woven all the rest, His lovely girls.

Home from the island, that sweet lesson settling, I was sipping coffee, the nectar of the gods, in morning’s light. And there she came. It was a hummingbird, grace suspended on wings, drinking its own nectar-breakfast from our blooms. And Papa spoke. “You are not a peacock. You are a hummingbird. It’s good to be a hummingbird,” and something within me thrilled.

Dear girl. You who’ve allowed the world with its yardstick to be the verdict on you, it’s a lie, and that web ‘round your heart has been terrible. Your body’s not for hatin’, your body’s a gift, crafted with grace and intention. Divine design!

We were made to birth life, both in bodies and hearts, and life only comes in the loving. Because He loves us, we are safe, we’re secure, and that makes us love-ers of others.

Whether we’re peacocks or sparrows, robins or eagles, we all have the same good, good Father. There’s a place for us all in His nest. Sing on, Papa’s bird. Sing on.

Oh, happy day! I’m visiting my writer friend, Karen Lange, today on her blog. Pop over and listen in while we talk blogging and writing projects and a spot in heaven for the “no-chocolates.” We’d love to see you there.

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