It’s always surprising to me, these obscure things my brain tends to remember.
There are times I try so hard to tuck a memory in tight, to hold it close, to never forget, but I’m finding I can’t always control what sticks and what releases. My recall is as fickle as time, the way she speeds up the things we want to linger, and inches along those thing we want to hurry.
I see this with books a lot. A turn of phrase will settle in deep; the perfect adjective in the hands of the best author makes special what most writers would leave bland, tasteless.
It’s why adults love Harry Potter. Rowling isn’t just a children’s storyteller–she’s magical.
Years ago I read “Same Kind of Different As Me.” At its core it is a love story, the kind birthed in tragedy, lived in fragility, and told with sincerity. It’s based on a true story, a tale of unlikely friendship, and though there’s plenty to find fault with, there’s one thing that has remained with me eight years after reading.
Mostly people consider it a friendship tale between her husband, Ron Hall, and a man they meet at a homeless shelter, Denver Moore, but Deborah was the catalyst for all that came later. Her determination and moxie were inspiring.
Deborah battled cancer like a warrior. She didn’t live in denial. She celebrated “what is,” not “what might be.”
She understood life is precious, each day a gift.
There was a point in her illness when she and Ron would begin their days with a declaration of what they knew for that moment–
I’m not battling cancer, but there are days I’d rather not face, circumstances that challenge all I know. Whenever I wake up with any type of destructive thought or dread for the day, I find myself echoing Deborah’s words–
This day is all I’m promised, this moment is all I know with complete certainty I’ve got. Indeed, it is reason to praise God. It is motive enough to celebrate every moment.
I think this is why I love princess dresses and joy-jumping:
They’re outward expressions of this inner declaration: I. AM. ALIVE!
When despair or defeat threaten to creep into your soul, scream that back at ’em. They’re trying to kill the best parts of you, but I’m convinced when we remember Whose we are and who we are, we stand a fighting chance.
The image above is taken at my local Barnes and Noble, where I first saw copies of Craving Connections: 30 Challenges for Real Life Engagement on the shelf. I’m thrilled to have a chapter included, one that covers 20 years of my life and the people who impacted me along the way. As part of its promotion, book elves are sneaking Starbucks gift certificates in stores all over the country, and also autographing copies. If you aren’t familiar, please check out the book’s site to learn more.
Also? If you’re one of the lucky ducks who’ll be at the Atlanta Market this week, DaySpring is giving away free books to everyone who stops by our booth. Co-author Dawn Camp and I will be there to sign copies, and play cheerleaders for a wonderful book celebrating community, and what it means for all of us. Do stop by if you’re able!
Friday, January 13th, Noon – 2 pm
Building 2 – Floor 7 – Suite 750A