Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.
About ten years ago, my granddaughter, Ellie, and I were passing the time on a family road trip by playing one of our favorite travel games, I Spy. It was Ellie’s turn and she had me searching high and low for something purple, our favorite color.
It wasn’t the beach towel, the flower on her shirt, or her purple nail polish. I had a good view of the entire van from my back seat location, but it wasn’t helping. What else could it possibly be?
“You’ll never guess this one,” the seven-year-old announced. That was all I needed to hear. As I was being transported down the highway at 70 miles per hour, my competitive streak went into overdrive.
But there was nothing purple left in the car. “Are you sure you mean purple?” I asked, eyeing Christina’s sweater. “Could it be pink?”
“No, MaMa, it’s purple. I promise.” She crossed her arms. “You might as well give up. You’ll never guess it.”
“You know me better than that.” I crossed my own arms. “I never give up!”
Five minutes later, I gave up. “Okay, what is it?”
She pointed. I leaned over and scanned the floorboard. “There’s nothing purple down there.”
“Not there,” she said, pointing again. “There.”
I followed her pointing finger straight to my leg. My spider-veined leg.
Purple is no longer my favorite color.
This story is true, and one I love telling as I travel around the country. But even though I laugh every time I tell it, I must admit, there’s a little part of me that misses my former self. Maybe I need a new me.
I occasionally catch a makeover show claiming to create A New Me. The recipient of the makeover gift is usually thrilled with her New You results. She sports a new haircut and a new wardrobe and new lips. But regardless of how good this “new” person looks, underneath the surgery and the make up and the packaging, she’s still the same person, with the same baggage, the same struggles, and the same sin.
I’m thankful that when God created A New Vonda, He made me new inside and out. No make-up, no surgery, no fake body parts. He made me fresh and new, clean and white, forgiven and free. Truly a make-over gift.
And that’s why I write and speak. I know what it’s like to be spiritually wrinkled, walking around on spider-veined legs. I know how it feels to be covered in guilt…and I know how it feels to be free.
I can’t keep the Good News of this free gift to myself.
I have to speak.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15b (NIV)
Grace and peace,
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