I look down at my watch during conversation and realize the time. Grab my purse to pay the bill for our tuna burgers and squash ravioli in order to get to a store with my friend before they close. Its a few days before Christmas. On our way, we pass by store windows decorated with snowflakes, furry sweaters, tall boots, and make jokes about getting older.
I push on the brass handle of the glass door, realize it is locked. Cup my hands around my eyes to peer inside because the overhead lights shine bright and I see movement.
A short, stocky woman with wide eyes, hair in the beginning stages of dreadlocks walks toward us. I talk to her through the thick glass, “Please let us in. She has never been here before,” pointing to my friend who is smiling big. “We’ll just look around for a minute and I am sure she’ll buy something.” We’re girlfriend giddy.
She doesn’t respond, just turns around and walks away. My friend notices a red cross sewn into the neckline of her shirt. So we wait there. My friend shakes her head, thinks I am bold for asking.
And when she returns with keys to open the door, we start a silly conversation – the two salespeople, my friend and I – like schoolgirls reunited. The whole store of flowy night gowns, furry robes and lacey underwear all to ourselves. And they tease my friend about it being her first time in the store and that she better buy something since they let us in after hours.
We talk about God, husbands, our kids and then about lingerie. And right there, behind the cash register, the manager that let us in pulls up her top to show us the bra she wears. To make a point that the merchandise is worth buying. My friend and I look at each other and laugh.
I don’t even want people to see the gooey, brown spots from my sick dog dotting the carpet at home, much less the sagging skin around my mid-section or the bra I am wearing.
After they let us out, my friend turns to me and admits, ”I can’t believe we just did that. That you asked her to let us in. I would have never done that. And I can’t believe she pulled up her top to show us the bra.”
As we walk away, I think about how easy it is to get stuck in the mundane, the comfortable of life and avoid risks. How most of the memorable moments of my life happened when someone or something challenged me to push into the unknown, expand my faith, grow deep.
Like Mary saying yes to carry the Savior of the world in her womb and Ruth leaving home to live as a foreigner only to birth a child who would be the grandfather of David, I want to take risks that please God, expand perspective, invite opportunity.
How are you taking risks? Pushing beyond your comfort zone? Do you have someone in your life motivating you to be more, experience more?
Let’s take risks together and keep the list of thanks in 2012. Won’t you join me?
- For liquid soap that isn’t messy
- A shower that comes out soft and rainy.
- For individual bathroom sinks.
- A comfortable, cozy bed.
- A quiet neighborhood without traffic noise.
- Neighbors that take care of your sick dog because they care.
- A husband who warms my side of the bed before I crawl in.
- Wireless internet that works when we all want to be on at once with numerous tabs open.
- Meaningful emails from subscribers at Christmas that make me teary.