This morning I dropped off the cherubs and took my Hottesy all over town. I did nothing fancy...no mani/pedi, no coffee with friends, no Target run (you know that's fancy). Instead I did a million little errands in about half the time it would take me with kids in tow. I did have one fancy accessory, though, and that my friends was my new headband. For those of you on insta you saw that I bought one of those "Buff" head wrap/bands because it literally had my name on it. And because when I do yoga I need something to hold my hair back that doesn't spring off the back of my (apparantly) cone-shaped head. There are just so many ways you can wear the "Buff" though, so I decided that I would try it today on my no-shower but previously straightened hair. I am having trouble finding the words to describe the inner monologue that ensued while wearing the Buff. Lemme just say this, though...people looked at me.
Newsflash to all you younguns out there...when you're 43 no one looks at you.
It wasn't like they were looking at me like a weirdo. Or even like, "hey, lady you are a good looking old lady." It was just that people took notice. And it felt really good to be noticed. I felt that the "Buff" helped me wield some kind of power that made people look a second longer, take me a little more seriously, maybe even remember me for next time. This made me realize two really important things about myself. One is that I never do/wear/say much of anything that stands out from the crowd. Boo. I mean for crying out loud, why am I trying so hard to do/wear/say everything like everyone else? And why has it taken me 43 years and only $24.99 to realize this? Again, it's not even like it was THAT different. It was just different enough to make me have that "screw it, I'm just gonna wear this crazy head thing and walk with purpose through my day like I own this town" kind of thing. It was powerful. And it makes me want to take more risks that help me (and maybe others too?) feel more confident. I'm not talking about your run of the mill self-confidence here. I'm talking about confidence in who I was MADE to be. To live out of the truth of who I am and WHOSE I am. I want to treat people the way I want to be treated. To notice people, to really see them, and to take the time to listen and remember them.
The second thing this magic headband helped me see is that I put EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in categories. And a lot of times those things or people don't really belong in those categories. My hubs was recently telling me about a podcast he heard that described our brain's instinct to organize and categorize everything we experience. It's a necessary and extremely helpful thing our brains do to protect us and allow to us define who we are in relation to the world around us. The problem is that in the Kingdom of God there are no categories! The categories are all turned upside down like tables in the temple. And if I am going to live and love like Christ then man I need to flip that junk upside down in my head.
This past Saturday we went to visit the State House in Columbia. Yes, THE State House where the confederate flag was removed from the grounds just this past week. We got to see where the flag used to be, and we also walked into the State Senate chambers where Rev. Clementa Pinckney served before he and eight other men and women were killed in Charleston just weeks ago. As we now know, the killer was welcomed into their Bible study at that church, even though he looked SO different, SO out of place. But because those nine men and women knew that in the Kingdoom of God there are no categories, they invited him in, not knowing he planned to do them such harm. To stand outside the State House and show my children the empty space where a divisive flag used to fly, to tell them the story of those 9 gracious, heroic men and women who chose to see others with the eyes of Christ, to teach them that even in the most horrific circumstances that grace and mercy win...that just felt like such an overwhelming gift.
Living life free of categories is scary. It's difficult. It goes against our every instinct. But it is the most honorable, most gracious, most generous way to live. I want to live this way.
Man, that's a powerful headband.