“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.
A knobby kneed girl with untamable freckles and inflatable ears trades her copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends for where the foul line starts.
She’s no good at basketball and no better at figuring out which goal is the one she should be running towards.
But her friends know all the technical terms for free throws. They can actually ring the basket. They eat, breathe and sleep it. And because she knows and does none of these things . . . she knows she doesn’t belong.
But the uniform plays tricks with her green Irish eyes and silences that little voice inside her heart that says “You’ll never fit.”
In her uniform she’s lost in a sea of red and black.
In her uniform she’s part of something bigger.
But in her uniform all she can think about is Where the Sidewalk Ends.
As a young girl, I always wanted to find somewhere I fit. So much so that I was willing to sell myself out to squeeze myself in.
Have you ever felt like that? Like you tried to pigeonhole yourself into a uniform that you were never meant to wear?
When we try to change the nucleus of who we are, somewhere in the world a grey cloud breaks open, bursting forth with the rainy day sorrow of a God who loves us just as He made us to be.
I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the weirder I become. I homeschool all five of our children and nursed each until the age of three. I’d rather be home reading a book or snuggling a baby than on the front row of any fancy schmancy event . . . especially basketball. I am once again the proud owner of a silver stitched, black bound book of poetry about where sidewalks stop and adventures commence.
I think we all go through our own period of putting away our one true selves, of sacrificing whoever or whatever it is that God made us to be, to do, to love. We try so hard to blend into the other uniforms around us. We want so badly to get lost in the sea of red and black. Until one day we wise up and realize that by blending in . . . we’ll never stand out.
God made you to stand out. That’s why He made you unique. That’s why, like me, maybe you were a kid that dreamed of less basketball games and more Pulitzers. Or maybe you dreamed of less Pulitzers and more scalpels. Or less scalpels and more hammers. Less hammers and more just sharing your own special form of God’s joy with the world . . . whatever that form of joy is.
Your light was made to shine before men as God created it. No light is better than the other. Only different than the other. God doesn’t want you to waste time blending in. He wants you to spend your time standing out. I’m so thankful that God loved this little freckle faced girl enough to help her live her life as He called it, as He created it, as He born it in her heart to be. It is my sincere prayer for you that you never sell yourself out to where the foul line starts. May your journey always begin where the sidewalk ends.