Being Real, Fake Nails and All
By Connie Cavanaugh –
Needing accountability to stick to regular exercise, I asked four women to walk with me, one each day, Monday through Thursday every week.
Last week “Wednesday” called to see when I wanted to walk that day. I snagged the portable phone between shoulder and chin and continued sanding my heels.
“Sheesh!” I wailed, “I don’t know if I can make it today!”
She pressed me for details.
“Well, I’m the keynote speaker at a women’s event tomorrow night so today I have to get a haircut, wax my eyebrows, shave my legs, bleach my teeth, tweeze my chin hairs, borrow an outfit from ‘Tuesday’ and stick on fake fingernails.”
She agreed that I had a lot to do and asked what I planned to talk about.
“Being real, you know, being yourself,” I replied.
“Fake fingernails and a borrowed outfit so you can talk about being yourself?!” She couldn’t stop laughing.
She quickly convinced me I needed some fresh air and exercise and a friend to share it with so an hour later we were on the trail. She gently probed to find out why I was sounding stressed.
“I thought you enjoyed public speaking,” she began.
“I do. I love it,” I replied. “But I feel so inadequate…surely there are thousands of people out there who have deeper insights, more varied experiences, a richer prayer life, a more disciplined Bible study regimen than I do. What I do best is make people laugh. Anybody can do that.”
“I can’t,” Wednesday replied, stopping and looking right into my eyes.
We stood there, looking mutely at one another.
“You can’t?” I asked, doubting I had heard correctly.
“Nope, I can’t,” she said.
“But you wrote an Old Testament study manual for seminary students in Hungarian!” I countered. “You lived overseas as a missionary. You don’t need to make people laugh. You’re a scholar and an educator and a Bible study teacher and…”
“And you can do something I can’t do,” she interrupted. “You can make people laugh. How is your God-given gift any less than mine?”
I had no answer so we resumed our tramp.
We continued on in silence and, as God so often does, He spoke to me through the voice of a godly friend. His message, as always, was simple: recognize your gifts as coming from Me and use them for My sake.
As soon as I got home I made a cup of tea to take off the chill and grabbed the nearest Bible; it was The Message. I opened it to where a bookmark had been left and my eyes fell on this highlighted section:
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…Hebrews 6:19, 20
I was humbled and in awe of God who is personally involved in our lives. I thanked Him for Jesus who was running on ahead and I thanked him for making me the person I am. I promised to encourage others, as “Wednesday” had encouraged me, not only to be who they were created to be but to be thankful for who they are.
And while I sipped the last of my tea, I glued on my bright red nails.