Friday, June 01, 2007

A Fleeting Thought

I can't blame it on advancing years. I've had these fleeting thoughts since childhood. An occasional bizarre thought that flits through my mind in a nanosecond. It's usually another two or three nanos before I realize, "Well, that was dumb," or "I'd have more signs than this if I were insane, right?"

Yesterday the thought-fleet was in. I looked down at the skin on my ankle, the little bit that showed between my athletic shoes and the hem of my flower-power capris, noted the bluish purple circle and thought, "I don't remember getting an ankle tattoo."

Seems as if a person would remember the process of being tattooed, doesn't it?

Just a fleeting thought.

Reality hits hard after a thought like that. A forgotten tattoo? No. What creative person would suggest a quarter-sized circle for an artistic statement anyway?

And it was embossed.

That's right. A new varicose vein.

Now, one might think I'd have a hard time deriving any kind of deep spiritual application from an episode like that. Au contrair! (Or however you spell that).

The tattoo thought was like stray voltage that troubles dairy cattle and their owners. Electric but in no way helpful.

The mental disconnect was ridiculous, not in any stretch of even a writer's imagination based on fact.

Wisdom returned as quickly as it had left me. I didn't stare at the purple circle, try to rub it away with my palm, or calculate how much money it would take me to have it surgically removed. In an instant, I knew it wasn't real, which I suppose is what assures me I still have fragments of sanity left to me.

But how many times have I entertained a negative thought that had no basis in reality? That my failures change God's love for me, or that my paltry gifts aren't needed in His kingdom plan, or that I don't deserve His grace (Well, duh! Who does? It wouldn't be grace if we could earn it), that my availability plus God's ability is still not enough...

From the immutable Word of God, I know the fleeting thought is ridiculous. But I entertain it anyway. I open the door wide and invite it in for coffee or tea or to stay for the summer.

I'm not going to have the varicose vein removed. I like it. It's a good reminder that not every thought that gains entrance to my brain is worth the synapse it's printed on.


Eileen said...

Any imperfection we have can remind us of God's redemptive power and grace. Isn't he good to us? And I'd opt for praising him over surgery any day. Besides, you're beautiful!

Marion Kelley Bullock said...

Congratulations on you book! And I love your blog. I should tell you more often. It sooo reminds me of you.


Becky Mushko said...

Another of the 50 wishes you the best! I look forward to reading your selection in A Cup of Comfort for Writers.