Monday, July 9, 2012

crazy bright courage


Nail polish is making a big splash these days. If you don't believe me, just take a quick browse of Pinterest. (No, guys, we won't take away your man card if you do. Although if you do start pinning a bunch of nail designs . . .) 

I'm pretty sure child #3 alone has “pinned” about forty-three ways to “do” your nails. It's the new fad.  

But even by those standards, the lady whose hands held my book at the table stood out. They glittered, swirled, and scattered light in a crazy pattern of bright. I loved it.

Then I looked up to see to face attached to the hands and noticed. She wore the tell-tale cancer scarf tied around her bald head. I complimented her nails, and she told me the story.

“I can't look the way I want to everywhere. It's taking its toll, and not just on my hair. But what I can do, I do. And I can make my hands stunning.”

And right then, I felt stunned by far more than her hands.

But what I can do, I do. I hesitate to add anything to that. It says it all. What's our excuse for so many things we never do? I've never done that. I'm not going to make a difference. There are just too many things in my way. I don't have enough time, talent, money, whatever. Someone else can. But what if . . . Maybe another time.

What I can do, I do. She couldn't cure cancer, or make her hair grow back, or run a marathon for research. But she could look for the positive in life. She could encourage other women with cancer. She could paint their nails (and she did). She could spend a day with her favorite thing—authors and books. She could spread beauty and joy in her corner of life, despite circumstances far worse than those that normally make the rest of us start grumbling into our Starbucks and whining at the first unlucky person to ask, “How's it going?”

What are your “fingernails”? What can you look at and say, “I'm going to make that beautiful, no matter what else isn't? I'm going to take one thing, and do what I can do with it?”

It doesn't have to be a part of you. It could be a part of something around you. A small bit of a larger cancer. Like the Section 8 neighborhood my daughter wants to make a garden in. It won't solve their problems. But it will be one stunning spot.

What I can do, I do. This lady could face life with courage. And stunning fingernails.

6 comments:

Carol Brown said...

Yup. I'm with this lady. God trusts me to carry the disease of MS for the time being. He has also gifted me with words. And as long as I have breath I will use them to encourage, to uplift and to point to Jesus. I will use them to help people think God thoughts and I will let His light shine and bring beauty to every corner I find! This I can do.

Sandra McLeod Humphrey said...

What an awesome lady--thanks for introducing her to us! I met some amazing people during my cancer journey, but one of the women I remember the most was this young woman with the most beautiful long blond hair I had ever seen. I found out later that when they shaved her head, she donated her hair to make wigs for other women with cancer. People really are amazing!

Katherine Harms said...

Everybody wants to save the world, save the planet, save the oceans. Projects like that make headlines and get attention on tv. Those big problems are way beyond most of us. They are even beyond all of us working together. I admire this lady and everyone like her who does what is actually in reach. Too many of us step over the trash on the sidewalk and ignore the person who looks lost in the church narthex. We really need to listen when God shows us opportunities that won't make headlines.

jill said...

Thanks, Carol. That's what I finally decided about kidney disease as well. I knew God wanted me to go through it, not around it, for his glory. He is always there. Keep up the good words!

jill said...

I love reading your blog and all the encouraging people on it. People are amazing, when we give them a chance to show it.

jill said...

So true. It's so easy to think someone else will do it when it's right in front of us. I may have lousy earthly vision, but that's no excuse for bad spiritual vision!