I thought of the words to describe myself and two friends last week. I smiled to myself knowing I’d not find these three referenced in my Bible, just an idea maybe of them.
Spunk, Dainty and Floundering.
I thought of my friend who goes by “Mel”, of her unwavering devotion to those she loves. I thought of her allegiance to me, although unnecessary. I thought of her sorrow in the aftermath of the untimely death of her husband. I hoped for resilience to remain her strongest quality. I longed to hope she’d rely on the smallest bit of spunk she is known for.
Still, I knew the days ahead would unsteady her. I cried when I told her I couldn’t find the word spunk in my Bible. She listened to me struggling to articulate my lost for words rambling over her loss.
My friend, the merciful one. The one with “spunk”.
Another friend, as gentle as a dove joined me for lunch and we caught up. I shared the decision to publish the children’s book, the journey from looking at birds on walks with my granddaughter to deciding to say “yes” to the commitment for it to become a book.
She listened and faintly smiled, not with excitement, just acknowledging what she knew was significant. I noticed her hands as she listened, diminutive and folded. I thought oh my goodness, she is so dainty.
I wondered later if the word “dainty” could be found in my Bible. I looked and as expected, no mention.
My friend who has much in common with me, an artist, a quiet friend who is longing to see how far life will take her.
She asked me to guess what she’d taken a chance on doing. I gave no answer because she was giddy to tell me.
She told me she’d learned to paddleboard, no idea why, she just decided to try.
I imagine her balanced amongst the other lake people, her petite frame having lots of room on the board but I shook my head and asked, “How on earth did you do it? I guess you must have good balance or strong legs, I could never do it!”
I thought of how I’d always thought of her so dainty, so delicate, not physically strong, more emotionally fit…dainty.
She answered that it is not dependent on your strength or your being able to balance, it is about trusting the board, allowing your body to let the board be in control.
Trust more than skill.
Days ago, I watched my granddaughter pick up and put down her little pink shoe clad feet.
The land that surrounds her home is bordered by paths, some grassy, others a mixture of sand, roots, big rocks and pebbles.
We walk together. I allow her independence with reminders of “careful” or “hold my hand” when her excitement for living causes her to prance ahead and risk tripping on rocks or over her own precious feet.
I bring my hand down to meet her tiny fingers, “Hold grandma’s hand.” I say and she either latches on or with a big girl motion huffs and shoos me away.
I smile. I watch. Soon she turns towards me and finds my hand and then lifts up in a surrender to be carried by me for part of the way.
She is learning independence and accepting assistance, the play of the two.
We walk together. We scamper. We dance. We sing and we gather pretty things, no hurry. No pressure, a rhythm of acceptance, balancing independence and surrender.
Holding accomplishment in one hand and humility in the other.
“Floundering”, the word I assigned to how I’d been feeling, the third word not found in my Bible; yet, the perfect description for my confusion, my unsteady thoughts, my leaning one way and fearing falling or leaning too far the other and tripping over my impatience.
“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”
Hebrews 12:12-13 ESV
Floundering thoughts, death compromised spunk and resilience, and assumptions about the fragility in our feeble dainty frames.
Each of those telling me, steady yourself, your heart, your trust.
Not so far so fast.
Continue and believe.