When I began blogging two years ago, I did not expect the amazing community of writers I would get to know. There are many wise and gifted storytellers out there. Once in a while, I stumble upon someone who can infuse their stories with such passion and vividness I feel as though I am experiencing life with them. Mary Ann Perez is one such writer.
As she has shared parts of her story on her blog I have been privileged to see life through circumstances very different than my own. I have seen through Mary’s eyes and I have both laughed and cried. Her story has given me much to ponder about my own life, and of how insulated I am. Her words have given me a compassion and empathy I didn’t have before, particularly for children growing up in unstable environments.
I knew what Jesus looked like. His picture was on the back of my pocket mirror. I had won this trinket quite handily at Sunday School. Chipmunk cheeks chock full of Hubba Bubba bubble gum, I had blown more bubbles in one minute than any of the other third graders.
Never questioning the accuracy of this visage, I thought Jesus looked a bit like a hippie. His light brown hair fell in perfect, soft waves to his shoulders. He was looking slightly off to the side like one of those bad 70’s school photos. I think the artist was shooting for an angelic look, but instead, the sad, blue eyes just looked fragile.
When I started this blog I wasn’t really sure what my purpose was. I just knew that I had piles of words all jumbled in my head desperately needing to be organized and sorted out. As I began writing, I found some clarity. But I’ve also struggled with my motives, my purpose, and my desire to write at all.
It was my big-picture thinker and amazingly wise husband who put it in perspective for me. One morning as I was whining about my lack of purpose he listened politely while sipping his coffee. When my lament had died down, he set his mug aside, leaned forward and firmly stated: “You write so that you will remember when the Lord speaks to you. These are your standing stones. And your writing not only blesses you, but the kids and I as well. Because as you build your standing stones, you become filled with joy. Then it spills over onto the rest of us. It’s like having five loaves, and as you share them, you end up feeding thousands.”
My girlfriends baffle me. They cry. Often. Whenever the urge strikes, it seems. I guess I’m just not made that way. Oh, I had the usual adolescent hormonal insanity and I certainly shed more than my share of tears in that season of life. But somewhere in the purgatory between the hell we call puberty and the heaven that is married life, my eye wells just dried up. I didn’t think much of it until my husband’s close friend (a woman) eagerly asked him after he formally proposed, “Did she cry?” When he told me of her query I was flummoxed. Was I supposed to cry? It honestly never once occurred to me that perhaps I should have. I worried that I had let my man down by not properly responding to his declaration of devotion. I wondered what was wrong with me.