Awhile back my brother said something that got under my skin. I mean, really got good and messy – hit a nerve I think because I flared up real defensive like.
He said he hoped I wasn’t becoming a cynic.
I scoffed and stuttered and scrunched up my nose in protest. Cynic? Me? The one who thinks optimistically about how many plans can be overlapped in one day and about how many grocery bags can be carried at once and that if you sing a song loud enough or dance a jig brave enough the whole world will notice? Me?
I didn’t take it very well.
He brought it up because I wasn’t really a fan of the newest social justice movement to hit social media. I wasn’t against it, necessarily, but I wasn’t throwing money in their direction either. The way I described it to my brother Sam was like this, “There are a lot of good things going on out there – a lot of people doing good. I just choose to support other causes.”
Recently, while reading “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller, I decided it was about the shape of my eyes and the scrunch of my nose when I look at the world. I would never describe myself as a cynic, but there are times when I look at the world like nothing is possible. Like we’re “headed to hell in a handbasket” and “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” – all the older folk, that is, who sit in the diners with 50 cent bottomless coffees and talk about how “everything’s gone to pot.”
Maybe that’s when having an old soul is unfortunate – when you feel like you’ve seen enough of life to know that people don’t follow through and good causes are corrupt and you can’t even trust your own resolve.
That’s when I realized the danger of furrowed eyebrows and a scrunched up nose. There’s no wonder in that facial expression; no joy in the possibility of ANYTHING being possible. The danger of furrowed eyebrows and a scrunched up nose is what we don’t want to grow up into. Because we never want to grow out of wide-eyed wonder. Never. Well, I don’t at least. I always want to breathe hope in with deep, lung-filling breaths.
I want to live like everything is possible – like one person really can move a mountain by faith or bring a rainstorm with prayer or heal a paralytic with petitions. I want to believe that God could paint the sky in new colors tonight and that tomorrow I could wake up and not need my glasses (I always squint like spiderman to see if I’m cured).
I want to live like everything is possible because a scrunched up nose is never becoming. It’s not attractive to throw water on the fire in people’s bellies and I think that’s sometimes what I do with my scrunched up nose.
Today was gloriously opposite a scrunched up nose. Today FILLED to overflowing with possibility and I’m still drinking it in as my fingers stiffen with the cool, autumn air on the back porch. Today, my eyes were wide with the wonder of Creation singing the praise of its Creator while I breathed in deep so I could sing along.
I sent my brother a text the other day to thank him for calling me out. It probably seemed strange that it took me so long, but I’m thankful even if I am slow in learning.
let LOVE fly like cRaZy
Thanks, Amanda, for delighting my ears with this brilliance!
2 thoughts on “why a scrunched up nose is never becoming”
Great insights, Miss Caroline! WE ARE CALLED TO PEOPLE OF HOPE 🙂