“Careless, that’s what that is, careless,” said a friend while shaking her head as though she was Buzz Lightyear declaring sadly to Woody that I was a “sad, strange, little man.” I apologized for losing the small item to an unknown crevice or cushion.
When I do something foolish, her words ring in my mind. “Careless, that’s what that is, careless.”
When I was 14, I jokingly pushed an older teenager, a respected guy friend, off a ramp about 4 inches off the ground. He stepped back with one foot to catch himself. We had all been laughing, and it was part of the fun, or so I thought. He said, “Christy, your problem is that you don’t think about anyone else.” I was struck. Even at that age, I wanted so much to bless everyone around me and didn’t realize I didn’t think about others.
It’s for that woman reading who has the words of others echoing from the recent or distant past, and who have given power to those words every time she does something any “normal person” would have the sense not to do.
You ever catch yourself leaving your keys in your car door…well, there’s a perfect key size hole for them, everything in it’s place, right?
You ever wake up to find you left food you meant to put in the fridge out all night…it’s accessible at least…and since you forgot to brush your teeth, dig in!
You ever leave the water running and overfill the tub, washing machine, or dish basin…my cup is full and running over!
You ever told your husband you’d do something, like lock the front door, and find it open in the morning…now that’s an internalized open door policy.
You ever offer to carry someone’s bag for them and then place it in some safe place so when they are ready to take it you have a really good conversation with them about how our lives are so full of things and less is more while you search frantically for their bag?
When I realize I’ve done something silly, disappointing someone, most often me, or hurt someone, usually those I care for the most, I have a choice. I can start abusing myself and reminding myself how careless I am or I can laugh a little and allow grace to remind me of what else I was doing when those darn keys decided to stay in the door, again. Oh, yes, the baby was crying because she wanted out of the car seat and I had 4 grocery bags I was carrying so the key remained in the car door. Oh, yes, we did family devotions and then I tucked the girls in and had a great talk with my husband and the food sat all night on the table. While the water was overflowing, I was trying to tidy my room before the husband got home so he'd be happy to be there. The electricity went out and I lit a candle instead of locking the door, and the cake I’d prepared for my friend needed to come out of the oven, so I set her bag in the pantry next to the hot pads. These aren't excuses for doing "careless" things...they're a way of extending grace to myself...of releasing the hold of guilt...of relizing how much I really do care.
I was not being careless, I was caring. I have so many people I care for every single day, that something is bound to be left undone. For those who read that and say, “Well, do less things!” Remember, as you meet women like me, that the things we DO get done are often worth doing, and the things we forget to do, God knows about, and your job is to love women like me and extend grace. God doesn’t call us careless, he enjoys us in all of our funny slip ups. He sees our heart and that we care deeply, as he deeply cares for us.