I sit in the confines of my car, hearing nothing but the muffled sound of cars whizzing by on the highway and the faint cheers of parents. The ball park lights flicker in the dimming sky.
It’s getting chilly.
I start the car and turn the heater all the way up to the bake-your-husband setting for a few minutes before I join the parents on the bleachers. They will chuckle at my Nanook of the North fashion, but I try not to care. I tell myself that staying warm is more important than looking hip, cute, or stylish.
It would be nice to have a metabolism faster than an age old turtle, I thought, as I skimmed the bleachers looking for my friends. Then I wouldn’t need this ridiculous getup.
I zip my coat that makes me look as though I’m on my way to an audition for a Michelin man commercial.
Next, I slide my hot pink gloves on, mindful that they don’t match my coat. Then I wrap my homemade scarf around my neck. It doesn’t match either, but the warmth it will provide overrides any fashion sense I’m tempted to succumb to.
Who am I trying to impress, anyway? I ask myself. It doesn’t matter if all the other women can get by with wearing nothing but a sweatshirt, with their hair piled gracefully atop their heads while mine sits as flat as a newly paved road underneath my tight hood.
Then it struck me …
I may not be dressing to please, but I wonder how often I act a certain way to blend in … to impress someone, or look “normal.”
Be salt and light, the Bible says….
In other words, be different. Wear your hot pink gloves even if they do stand out. Speak of Jesus and wear your homely scarf without apology. Step out of your comfort zone, and love your pesky neighbor by baking them a pie.
Do whatever you can do to make your light shine.
Look different because you are different.
I sit on the ice cold bleachers, waiting for the game to start, and wonder if I look one bit different to this hurting world, if they would recognize that Christ lives in me, if I appear as a light in their darkness … or if I simply blend in like camouflage in the wilderness.
I clap when #24 hits the ball past third base. When the excitement is over, I glance down at my hot pink gloves. I am glad I put them on, even if they do look like a flashing neon sign as I clap and cheer for our team.
I want to clap like that for Jesus. I want to cheer for Jesus by loving others when they are unlovely, by serving others when I feel like being served, and by purposely speaking about my Savior when I feel shy and reserved.
I look around and wonder how many spectators still need Jesus. Which ones feel like weary travelers in a desert … thirsty, in need of rest?
And I pray …
Help me, Lord, to cheer for you … to shine as a light in a dark and dreary world, so that others might see and know how loving and kind You are, and want to see more of You. Help me to fade into the background as You shine forth like a flashing neon sign, drawing in weary, hurting people in need of rest, comfort, and joy.
~Brenda R. Coats