Here’s the long and the short of it: I want to be your Barb.
I had seen her many times long before we ever met. Time after time, I’d be driving out of my neighborhood and I’d catch sight of her. Always, she was walking.
She looked determined, but I could tell it was difficult for her. She walked slowly and purposefully. And every single time I saw her, she walked exactly the same way.
For several months, this was all the interaction I had with this white-haired woman whose name I did not know.
A few months later, in a completely unrelated phase of my life, I began running. I didn’t like it, but I needed to make some changes for my health.
And guess what!
It was difficult.
And I was SLOW!
For a long time, I didn’t want anyone to see me running. I’d run under cover of darkness. No one would be able to see my slow, awkward pace. No one would drive by me and think, “Man, she looks like she’s in pain!”
But as time wore on, I found my schedule required me to run in the daylight. To compensate for my new visibility, I would make sure to avoid anyone I knew. If they happened to be out in their yard when I passed by, I’d pretend I didn’t see them. Make no eye contact. Run on the opposite side of the road.
I was on one of those sun-runs one day, when I rounded a curve and heard an odd sound.
What WAS that? Was someone….. CLAPPING?
Someone WAS clapping! I looked around and wondered who on earth she was clapping for. But I was the only one around. She stood there with her hands over her head – clapping, and clapping, and clapping. Then, as if to erase any doubt about whom she was applauding, she looked at me and yelled, “You GO, GIRL!”
I gave her a limp wave and said something about how I was struggling. But she just kept cheering me on. She was cheering for me! A woman I’d never met before was cheering for my embarrassed, awkward self. WHO DOES THAT?
Well, apparently, Barb does.
I have since introduced myself to Barb. We’ve chatted a time or two. I’ve learned that she walks for the sake of her health. Still, whenever she sees me running, she makes a point of cheering for me. It never fails to inspire.
My life passage is Colossians 2:6-10. It’s rich with meaning in so many different ways, but it starts out with these words:
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him…
I know that there are so many Christian women who face the “continuing” every day. We have a long, and sometimes difficult path in front of us. As we figure out how to “continue in him” we sometimes feel awkward or embarrassed. We’re trying so hard, and often it isn’t pretty. But you know what?
I want to be your Barb.
I want to cheer you on. Not because I’m more accomplished than you are. No. I’m doing my own awkward continuing over here. I’m just cheering for you because I understand how difficult it is to do what you’re doing.
So, I’ve got my arms up over my head. I’m clapping for you.
And I’m yelling:
“You GO, GIRL!”