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Shot Of The Day

Tulips, Weeds and Chorus Lines

We are all attracted by something. Vibrant color. Electric personalities. Unusual perspectives. Natural disasters. Hard questions [that’s mine!]. Something takes our attention from the white noise of life and awakens us for long enough to feel something. To make us look. In those moments we go from the flat line of the daily din of existence to a blip on the radar screen. Evidence that we are still alive? I love the song from Chorus Line where the starving dancer in the audition sings about feeling nothing as she gazes at the other dancers who can make themselves FEEL SOMETHING no matter what role is thrust upon them by the theater troop. But Gonzalez, the alarmingly vulnerable and authentic dancer, grieves aloud to us — the audience of life, “But I felt nothing, absolutely nothing.” Ironically, every person who ever saw that show moves their head up and down in affirmation as the pain of her plight is all too real to each of us. Gratefully, we all feel something as the dead woman walking on the stage is completely unveiled and real about the dead zones that we hit in our journey through life. Our affinity for her plight gives evidence that there is still a pulse, a life, a question that needs exploring, a purpose. What is that deadness that creeps into existence as we are pounded by problems, issues, challenges, set backs, too much stimulation, too little time, too many choices, not enough sleep? Where does it come from. A book I read a few years ago describes the phenomenon as a double high tide, an actual occurrence that happens in nature. One high tide follows another in such quick succession that there is a flood that overtakes the things in its path. Ever felt that double high tide? You have just inched your nose above the flood that has just overtaken you and the second wave comes too fast for you to handle. So something in you relents. “Whatever,” you hear yourself saying. You just can’t fight the tide. So you let a little more of the fight die in you. You let the wave overtake you. I was sitting with someone recently in a double high tide moment praying that God would give me wisdom on how to love well in that hard moment. Some words my husband speaks often came flooding into my mouth. He says them when I’m in my double high moments… “Hey Kat, that sounds like life.” At first, it shocked me. Made me mad actually. It sounded so insensitive. So minimal. But really, it was just plain ole true. Life is full of problems. Floods. Double high tides. What Spencer is really saying when he whispers that wisdom in my ear is that I need to expect it. Not be overwhelmed by it. Understand that the tide can’t carry me away unless I relent. There’s a parable that says the same thing in a different way. Essentially, God tells us that there will be flowers but there will also be weeds! He’s not going to pull up the weeds in the middle of the garden of life. But He is going to offer his water to all who thirst for Him. He is going to water and nourish and fertilize and send sonshine on every flower in His garden and He’s going to ask his flowers to rise above the weeds; to refuse to let them take over the beauty He has planted; and to trust that there will come a time when He will indeed be weeding the garden. When I read that parable, I hear this — they’re just weeds Kat. Grow above them. I’m with you. I’m the water that makes you grow. I’ve given you all you need to grow despite them. Don’t give in. Don’t relent. Don’t let them curl around you and overtake you. They’re just crummy ole weeds. The tulips in the photograph were part of a life-sized exhibit at the Guggenheim. They will forever remind me that I can expect weeds in life but I sure as hell don’t have to let them wrap themselves around me like the water of a double high tide. Don’t relent. Fight. It sounds like life…

Posted: 22 November 2011