Happy Labor Day! I hope you are enjoying a day of rest and refreshment as the summer draws to a close. Often, holidays feel like moments of grace in our very busy lives– special visits, sleeping in, special food. Elizabeth Boesen reflected on a moment of grace from this summer. I found it to be beautiful and encouraging. Enjoy!
Recently, the leader of a small group that I am blessed to be a part of suffered the passing of her mother-in-law. As part of her grieving process, she gave each of us in the group a bar of rosewater-scented soap, a smell which she associated with her mother-in-law. It was a beautiful and symbolic gift, and I carefully put it in the cupboard to be used at some future, equally symbolic time.
Well, yesterday, in the middle of a busy summer and some tumultuous personal times, I was about to get in the shower and noticed that we were out of soap. So I looked under the sink and saw, next to the lined up boxes of Dove, the box of rosewater soap. And this dialogue happened almost instantly in my spirit:
“Oh, no, definitely can’t use that one!”
“And why isn’t today special?”
“Huh? Well, but…but…it’s glycerin—that’ll get used up too fast in the shower! I should use it as hand soap. Someday.”
“Is there a scarcity of good things in the world? Do you think this is the last good gift you will receive?”
“But I could enjoy it longer if it were hand soap!”
“Maybe you will enjoy it more knowing it is fragile and precious! LIKE YOU ARE…”
Breath caught. Long pause. Stare at soap.
“And what if there is no vague, special day out there to come, and the soap never gets used and just stays gathering dust under your bathroom sink?”
“Well, I know it’s only soap, but somehow that’d be tragic.”
“Isn’t there is a lot of stuff you are ‘saving up’, Elizabeth? That you’re afraid, somehow, to enjoy now? That you think you don’t deserve?”
My arm starts reaching out—calmly, gently, with joyful power not its own—toward the soap.
“What if today is your last day? That’d make it pretty special, wouldn’t it?”
Grab the soap, smiling inside and out, unbox it…
I enjoyed the lather like none other in my life–the feel of the glycerin, and the rose smell, of course. But perhaps most of all, the bright color of it, as it sat against the white shower wall—all red and symbolic and abundant and celebratory and GIVEN.
As I continued to turn it over and over in my hands, I thought of all the amazing things God has been doing in my life in the past few weeks and months, and felt grateful and joyful and almost as if it was the day I’d given birth to one of my children, or a momentous anniversary, or a day of great accomplishment. How did I miss that this Thursday in July was a special day?
And then I thought—no, more like I breathed in—the miracle of this whole life of mine, and the infinite price at which it was purchased, and I knew in a fresh way that, indeed, every day is “special”.
Is there anything that you are “saving up”?
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps 118:24)