05.18.18 We’re All Worth A Second Look, by Holley Gerth and Happy Heavenly Birthday Josie Mae!

Happy Birthday in Heaven to my mama Josie Mae Cochran Blum Traylor.  She would have been 98 today.  I know she’s happier in Heaven than she ever was on earth though she made so many of us happy just by her presence.  She definitely left her mark on many.  She told the children to stop when they were running in church.  She believed and shared with others that you do not wear shorts to church.  She loved our new sanctuary and was so determined that it not be stained by spilled drinks that she “encouraged” everyone not to bring anything to eat or drink in church.  She’d let you know if your dress was a bit short to be wearing in the choir.
While those things use to embarrass me I see now that she was so very right.  Harriett and I would talk about that embarrassment, but we loved her anyway!  God’s house, that we worship Him, in should be considered Holy while still being a place where joy and love abounds.  We can be a rowdy bunch at Trinity and that’s part of why I love it there!   I sometimes have to bring a bottle of water into the sanctuary for morning Worship to help with my asthma and coughing.  Since she was very strict about that I find myself asking her forgiveness before I enter the sanctuary.  She was truly a hoot and quite a character all the while such a loyal, forgiving mother and grandmother.
I miss her all the time.  When something new happens my thoughts always go first to wanting to share with mama though it’s been over 10 years since she went to live with God. When God says my time here is over I know she will be waiting there with God to meet me in Heaven.  What a peace I find in that.
I didn’t mean to write all this when I first wished her Happy Birthday in the first sentence above.  Words spill out of my heart sometimes and land here.  Thank you for indulging me when that happens. 

I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6Wwe wander over to our favorite fruit stand, to a table laden with discounted fruit labeled “seconds.” A wiry woman says, “These are here because they have some kind of trouble..”

I look at her and say with a half-grin. “Don’t we all?”

My husband and I have bought these peaches before and we know what she means. There might be a bruise from a hand landing on unrelenting ground. There could be a tiny hold where a bug helped itself to dinner. I glance at the cousins of these peaches sitting on other tables inside the little stand. They are beautiful and unblemished as they proudly in their buckets waiting to be taken home by folks who will not settle for anything less. I think if I were a peach I’d rather be on the “seconds” table where the messy is allowed.

We choose our imperfect peaches and cart them home with anticipation. I set one on a small cream-colored plate and split it right down the side with a silver knife. I bring the piece to my mouth and take a bite. It’s an explosion of sweet and tart and summer.

I look at it and whisper right to its skin, “Who would have thought you have that in you?” Then I think about how this rings true to life. Because we all have parts of our hearts or stories what we think don’t measure up. We call them unworthy and less than and we put them to the side. But the longer I’ve walked this spinning earth, the more I find those are the places where the glory and the beauty are likely to show up and shout, “Surprise!” I had assumed “seconds” meant “not first, not best.” Maybe it just means “worth a second look.”

As you go about your day, look into the eyes of the cashier or the barista or the mailman and say hi. Learn their name. Give them a “second look” and a smile that says, “You matter.”

~ written by Holley Gerth, A Moment to Breathe, shared on  Peaceful Moments for Women

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