I had sort of hilarious thing happen this week, due to Valentine's Day. I know I'm never without the need to express gratitude and deal with resentment in my personality. Well, two dear male friends were "nice" enough-innocently, of course-to e-mail me about their latest dating endeavors. Both are newly back on the scene after serious interruptions from life, and I am glad for them. It is a mark of getting on with it and back into living after some very painful issues stopped all of that. Well, the first just met a beautiful lady and sent roses after only a few dates. The other asked me to read his dating service ad, which facetiously (or not-knowing the man, either is possible!) mentioned breakfast in Paris.
I pride myself on being the woman anyone, male or female, can come to and exult, dump, rage and cheer without it even putting a ripple in my sails. But I felt a stab. Right in the ego. My immediate thought was, "Where's my Paris and my roses???" A glimmer of the green-eyed monster. Why do the people who don't really involve themselves in the lives of others get all the goodies, the ones who could take it or leave it, strangers for pete's sake?? Oh, I was cut straight through...and is that what my friends meant to do to me? It reminded me of several jokes and some great stories. But there I sat at the computer, an inanimate object, seething with resentment.
What did I do? I managed a witty and wise comeback for each, ever the sage, unmoved by the crass inner workings of the heart. Ha! But God knows me better, and I whined to Him. Why, oh, why, is it my job to endure two hour phone calls, panicky letters, I need this, I need that...and not be recompensed? Always a bridesmaid, never a bride in a way. A quiet whisper came back to me in the form of a reply to a resentful young man in scripture who was furious that his wayward younger brother came home to the open arms of his father-"Child, everything I have is yours." Why can't I remember that? The next day, my prison partner sent me a beautiful e-card, a reminder of what is truly mine. Why do I need the lights of Paris, when I have the light of Heaven? Why do I need a dozen roses, when the Rose of Sharon never fails to perfume my life?
The words of another song came back to me this morning, which I've quoted before, from English songwriter Matt Redman-"I will offer up my life, in spirit and truth, pouring out the oil of love as my worship to You, in surrender I must give my every part, Lord receive the sacrifice of a broken heart..." I laughed at myself, and thanked, and shared this with my ladies in group last night, one of whom was thanking God that she was two months out of the hell of addiction. Perspective is always the necessary ingredient for gratitude to happen, and I want it to, from the heart.