tuesday

Every once in a awhile, I’ll have a Tuesday where it seems like Sarah Masen was telling my story when she wrote, “Tuesday.”

tuesday after a reckless and used day
i was running and running without a chance
to stop and chat at the sky

finally i stopped for a breath in the evening 
suddenly. i was caught by the scenery 
painting a picture of You

day set, scatters of clouds in the distance
they whitewash the backdrop of secrets
whispering shadows of blue
in more delicate hues

“Reckless and used” couldn’t better describe yesterday’s pace. Maybe it was more that my running and running felt ineffective and unreliable. I wouldn’t say Excel spreadsheets or organizing registrations give me energy or joy – ever. Though I’m the first to laugh at myself and all my secretarial screw-ups, I don’t enjoy feeling ignorant or getting things wrong (does anyone?). Menial tasks that make perfect sense to a more secretarial sister read like Greek to me and the added stress only multiplies frustration. Several times, a boss stepped inside my office to say I was doing a good job and that this is just a season. Running, running, running. 

I left job one for job two and set my eyes on stealing back my joy from the schemer. Sadness is failure when it comes from self-pity – and that’s exactly what the schemer had convinced me was a worthy adversary to Tuesday’s stress. I stopped to get coffee (every midday resolve needs a little caffeine boost) and the nice young man behind the counter asked, “How’re you doin’ today?” after I ordered the strongest thing that comes in 16 oz. I muttered around a response until I ended with, “Well, I… am doing okay.”

He nodded like he’d heard that before.

I couldn’t let him think that I was like every other caffeine-crazed customer, so I added, “I’m not about to let this day steal my joy.” He smiled. We talked about his tattoo that took 4 1/2 years to finish. I picked up my coffee at the counter, where the owner had upped the size and made it fancy, in support of my joy resolve.

So, I walked into job #2 with a bounce in my step. With some amount of surprise, I responded to, “How is your day?” with “Actually, really great.”

I had turned a corner. Tuesday didn’t seem so terrible anymore. I was even 3 minutes early. Then, as I surveyed the scene, I realized the longest part of Tuesday was only beginning. Between the “priority” print orders and the room full of design students meeting a deadline, I barely stopped moving long enough to go to the restroom.

Then he walked in and I didn’t recognize him at first in his plaid shirt and khaki shorts. When he stopped first at the popcorn machine and looked at me disapprovingly, I knew it was the mailman. He comes in on Saturdays and I always have the popcorn fresh. We banter back and forth once a week but this Tuesday appearance was unexpected. The computers were on the fritz, so I helped him print off the study on Isaiah 49-52.

We zipped around the store like a mini-factory – loading paper, cutting cardstock, replacing toner, gritting teeth – Mike and Derek and me. Those two guys are part of what make the mini-factory on Tuesdays a joy. We laugh… a lot. We fume and joke and tease and laugh… a lot. When one of us throws up our hands in exasperated surrender, another picks it up and carries it through. And there was a lot of exasperation last night and a lot more of that I’m-not-naturally-good-at-this feeling.

An hour and a half after I was supposed to get off, I walked out and the mini-factory was still swirling with activity. Walking out to my car, I tripped over a crack in the pavement and cursed behind my teeth. Really? Even the ground couldn’t resist being a part of my “reckless and used” day?

Before I headed home, I saw a text from Derek, “I just want you to know that I love working with you and Mike. I wasn’t in the best mood when I came in, but you both made it a lot better. I look forward to Tuesday nights every week!”

Hm. As I pulled away towards home, I thought about all the ways God had painted my Tuesday scenery – in the form of co-worker encouragement, laughter, extra coffee with conversation, the mailman, co-workers, laughter, and the way the rain smelled when I left at 11:30 from the printing place.

Sigh. Even reckless and used Tuesdays are canvas for the Lord’s scenery.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

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