Well, not really, but if ever there were a weekend so full of treasure almost utterly robbed of joy by idiocy, it was last weekend.
It was with my usual mix of frenetic energy and anxiety on Friday morning as I excitedly joined some dear and new friends for a weekend trip to a Beth Moore Conference. I don't know that I have ever actually gone away for a weekend alone since I had children and if I have, I sure don't recall, so it's been too long anyway. I was greatly looking forward to this time though I was nervous about the volunteer gig I signed on for to get my free ticket.
With a few u-turns and a stop for lunch we made it to the hotel in spite of the GPS, which was positively smoking in annoyance by the time we arrived. I quickly changed into my nice new outfit (thanks Mom) and the gals hustled me to the Tsongas Center where we arrived 30 minutes late for my volunteer gig but it didn't matter a bit. The Lifeway folks were awesome and I really enjoyed helping people find what they were looking for as they shopped prior to the conference. Thank the good Lord for cell phones, I found my peeps with only a slight misstep as Travis Cottrell began to sing. The praise and worship time was incredible and then Beth Moore came onstage.
I had never seen her in person or heard her speak before and is she something! This dynamic, lovely, kind, inspirational, Southern lady was ON! And I listened and I thought and the first night was pretty good. I had to be there early the next morning to volunteer and one of my dear roommates is SO not a morning person. She mumbled as we got up that it isn't right to be up at the buttcrack of dawn. Well this was hilarious enough for a Facebook status in our estimation and having so posted, off we went. Saturday Beth brought all the points home, illustrated with stories from her life, anecdotes, humor, and the Bible. I love the way she teaches.
She had eight points about the treasure all around us and in our lives but the take home for me was this.
That we have an "all bad file" in our heads and that sometimes things are, in fact ALL BAD. But, and likely more often, you need to go through the "all bad file" and see if there were not treasures there in the past, even if it is an "all bad" thing now. Because treasures, strung together, can bring healing.
Now I don't know about you, but there has been some stuff in my life, especially recently, that has felt ALL BAD. And yet while she spoke, I was already taking some files out of the ALL BAD drawer, and my heart was softened and there were some treasures there and I really felt the healing love of the Holy Spirit helping me pull them out. I am still working on this exercise and pondering each file and it will take some time to go through, but right off the bat, there was healing in my heart.
Following the conference was free time. A whole afternoon and evening away from home to hang out and have fun with pizza and a pajama party in our room. I had not had such fun in a long time, and rarely with a group of 23 women that aren't my family and there was laughter and joy and hilarity and testimony. We finally got the internet to work and here and there we were checking Facebook and other stuff and I went to check mine and BAM.
There are no words for how sick I felt. Two people who surely ought to know better had written judgmental comments about our morning status post. If I had been home, I could have just removed them and be done with it but not away. My mobile Facebook doesn't have that capability and I had to watch it play out.
This was the first inappropriate comment:
Wow, two beautiful women of God using some very ugly words..I think that's sad :(
And this was the second:
(names the previous commenter)you are THE BEST! I was thinking the same thing. Do all the Christians think that when God says to rid ourselves of filthy language that He was joking?
And all I could think was what were you thinking? That these two and their thoughtless, reckless comments were exactly the kind of Christians that make people run from churches!!!
Did they not think for a second about what kind of damage they might cause with that kind of judgmental statement to friends and family on my page who are not Christians? Did they not even hesitate to wonder about the way it would look and sound? I truly have absolutely NO words for how utterly flabbergasted I was with their legalistic moralism. I didn't care what they said about me but about my friend that they have never even met too!!!!
Even with all the mitigating, funny and loving comments that were also written, that ugliness was there and there was nothing I could do about it.
This went in headfirst, headlong in my ALL BAD file. People, I learned my lesson, someday when this is not so raw, I will try to find treasure in it, but not yet, not now.
There were more treasures in my weekend. I adore my new gray flannel pleated shoes. I enjoyed Cracker Barrel, I had never been there. I loved L's feistiness, C's quirky cuddliness, H's humor, D's quietness, M's gentleness, and La's steadfastness. They are all treasures.
I treasure the healing that had begun in my heart, the friends who came to see my at my volunteer gig, the folks I met, worked with and played with. There was treasure in the very clothes on my back, a gift from my Mom, and in the weather, crisp and clear.
And there was treasure in my homecoming, because where your treasure is, your heart will be also.
Leaving you with a song I love, give it a listen, you'll hear why.