Do you ever have one of those days? You know the kind which starts out sorta crappy, then just ends up beautiful? Well, I had one yesterday…
As I left the house in a rush to drive my youngest to school for an early morning choir rehearsal and myself to work for an early meeting, I was already feeling like a crazy person by the time I arrived to my office. Rushing, rushing and more rushing. A few hours later I was feeling sad and exhausted from a not so great meeting, then proceeded to lock my keys inside my car while trying to squeeze in a few errands during lunch. Just not my day, I thought to myself. As I waited outside my car in the Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot for AAA to arrive and unlock my door, I realized the last time I locked my keys in the car I was also running like a crazy loon. Between the girls, work, school, the holidays and my hubby’s upcoming birthday, I have been “burning the candles at both ends” as my grandmother used to say. Yes, of course I was doing too much in too short of a time, but that’s what moms do, don’t we?
Anyhow, after waiting for an hour, I finally saw the white truck with red letters pulling into the parking lot, and frantically started waving my arms. A very nice man, jumps out of the truck, with “David” written on his shirt. (Coincidence? I think not.) He proceeds to apologize for the long wait and I apologize for making him come out for a silly locked car, and he laughs and says he has a secret to share with me. He also locks his keys in the car. We laugh and I explain how I only do this when I am rushing and trying to do too many things at one time. He looks at me and says matter of factly that I just need to RELAX, and ready for this? “Take It Easy.” That’s it. Just Take It Easy, he says. And I realize he is right. Take it easy is what I need to do. So I stop, give him a hug and thank him for coming to my rescue.
I drive back to work, finish up a few more projects and find myself rushing to Big Y on my way home so I can pick up cheese, crackers and M & M’s for a board meeting I am hosting. Fifteen minutes before the meeting begins, a lovely group of people all arrive EARLY for the meeting. They are in my kitchen, while I am again running around like a loon hiding things and straightening up the kitchen. They laugh and proceed to help me unload the groceries, pour the wine and plate the snacks. Love these people. They do not care if my kitchen is upside down. Two and a half hours later, the meeting is wrapped up, and I hug everyone goodnight. A wonderful ending to a crazy day.
Fast forward to this morning. As I run down the stairs to begin the day, I realize it is December 14. The anniversary of Sandy Hook when 26 precious children and teachers from Newtown were violently murdered. The images of their faces stay with me, and I remind my daughters and hubby, to say a special prayer for their families today. I actually almost yell this, as my girls are already arguing about something (shockingly). I remind them they need to appreciate each other and love each other because life is very short. Then they are off for the day. As I drive my youngest to school, I realize I left my coffee mug on the counter and of course need it to start my day. I run back home and before leaving the house for the second time that morning, I run in to the guest bathroom. I am not even sure why I am in there when I realized I am doing it again. Rushing and doing too much.
Then I see it. The fingerprints on the windowpane.
Growing up, my mother would constantly have to remind me and my sisters not to put our fingerprints on the windows. She would spend hours cleaning them so they were sparkling and shiny, and did not want to see our fingerprints on them. I have this memory stamped in my brain. (She now tells her grandchildren the same.)
When I see the fingerprints. I stop. And really look. My youngest has drawn a heart on the window. The most beautiful heart is staring at me with the morning sun filtering through it.
I needed to see this.
As I drive into work the tears begin to fall, and by the time I am pulling into my parking lot, I am a red face, eyes watery mess. But I am smiling.
Look for the signs I told my class of 8th graders last Sunday morning at church where I teach CCD. Signs that show us that Jesus is here, living among us. “The sun shining” one girl shouted. “Being kind to someone” another boy yelled out loud. Yes, I agreed. Absolutely. Those are signs.
Although I agreed, I haven’t really looked for the signs. They are around us, I know, but do I really take the time to see them?
As I rushed around yesterday locking my keys in the car, and beginning my day once again rushing around like a crazy person, I forgot. I forgot to look for the signs. Signs which show us there is kindness in the world. And Jesus. And people who care about people. And that this is what matters. Today especially I think we all need to see this. Signs are there among us if we look for them. Kindness prevails even amongst tragedy. People were brought together by this terrible act of violence, and random acts of kindness happens. Kindness is there.
In this crazy season of everything, and craziness of just life I need to remember to stop and “take it easy” as my new friend David told me. And to look for the signs. They are what matter. My girls, and my husband and my family. And friends. And the kindness of strangers. And trying to make a difference in this world. And all of us being there for one another. Keys will be locked in cars and people will show up early and kitchens are messy.
It’s the fingerprints on the windows that matter…