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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

starts in my toes and makes me crinkle my nose

Well ladies, the Winter Jam season is upon us. Best time of the year. 

My home church's youth group and my family met me outside the Scope. The plan was to wait outside in line at 2 p.m., three hours before doors opened. There were thousands of people already congregated outside and rock music pumping from the concrete flatland of Norfolk when I approached my group. 

We were each mastering the art of catching up and feeling close while rocking our bodies back and forth to keep warm. It was like we were silent participants in very low key workout videos. Silent, with the exception of the rock music. Our heads bowed against the wind, our bodies shaped into prayer and our minds too fozen to get there. 

It wasn't long before I started to hate the black ballet flats I decided to wear. I put them on that morning for the walking-comfort-factor, not so much for the keep-your-toes-toasty-factor. Everyone seemed to be passing judgment on my wardrobe malfunction of the day. 

"Brett, aren't your feet cold?" they asked. 

Yes. Yes they are. They're stinging they're so cold. It feels like I'm standing on thousands of snow-covered porcupines and I'm actually not confident I have feet anymore.

I felt pretty foolish. Shoe choices should be one of the easiest decisions of the day. Thoughtless choices, usually paired with other very simple decisions like, "Will you pray?" Or, "Would you like more coffee?"

But, there I was. Wrapped up like the little boy bundled up tightly and about to "pop like a tick" in A Christmas Story. Warm everywhere but my feet. Cursing the 40 miles per hour winds. Cursing my ever-stupid shoe choice.

And then I noticed out of the corner of my eye a woman standing about three feet away. She was bundled and puffed to the maximum, just like me. Her curly brown hair was tumbling in the wind, because she probably decided it was as pointless to even try to keep her mane tamed in the weather's rodeo. She also had on a similar pair of little ballerina flats.

We sort of exchanged those concerned-smiling glances. As if to say, "Hey girl, I know your feet are cold. I'm right with ya. Just hang in there."

And then her husband got down on his knees and put his gloved hands over the place where her feet were left uncovered. It was one of the most selfless, loving things I had ever witnessed. It was so intimate, I felt my face blush before I could make myself look away.

And that's when the ever-present merry-go-round-prayer in my head began. 

Oh, Lord. Will there ever be anyone in my life willing to do that for me? 

At this point, I was past trying to be positive. I was miserable and my only option for being able to withstand the icy witchlike air against my feet was to hobble over to the local mall and get a pair of socks. I turned to my dad and told him my plan and that I was sorry to get out of line but that I'd return in a few minutes. 

My dad promptly replied that he had two pairs of socks on, and without a second thought he simply unlaced his shoes and plucked the outer pair of black socks he was wearing off his own feet and handed them to me. 

How could I have forgotten that a very important man in my life loves me more than enough to cover my feet with his gloved hands. He loves me enough to give me the socks off of his own two feet. 

I quickly thanked him, sort of in a silent, bashful way. Feeling like a little girl who still needs her parents to help her decide what to wear. I pulled the black socks onto my own feet. They were huge and the heel bubbled in the back of my shoe. And I never felt more loved or treasured in my entire life. 

Happy Tuesday, sisters!

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