Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ladybug Miracles

I don't know how you feel about miracles, but I rather like them. The idea of the supernatural occurring in my life fills me with giddiness. Just think, to be touched by the Divine in a way that is tangible to your present circumstance - that's gotta be pretty cool! Now, I have been blessed with some really miraculous events which left me wondering how on earth I could have a God that loved me enough to save my hiney from THAT situation. I have also had the privilege of participating in miracles through divine intervention of the right people in the right place. It all adds up to the same thing - God making himself personally known. What a rush!

It goes without saying that God doesn't waste miracles on the unimportant, but rather doles them out for the dying, broken-hearted, dejected, abused, and lost. Then, and only then does God reach down and communicate with people who are in a position to listen, which tends to be when their circumstances are not exactly... idyllic. But a God who "wastes" a miracle on ladybugs? And not just the insect variety but the earring kind... I mean, come on! Oh ye of little faith. *wink*

My dear friend Jill bought me the best pair of ladybug earrings in the entire universe last year for my birthday. I love them. I wear them all the time. They have just the right amount of dangle, can't be beat for detail, and are a wonderfully rich red that goes with - well just about everything I own. Needless to say, they are among my favorites. Last month a couple gals included me in an "August birthday club movie and coffee" get together. The best time was after church on a Sunday, so that particular morning I dressed with extra care, weighing the ever subtle wardrobe decisions of church with matinee/coffee/girlfriends so as to achieve the best look with maximum comfort. The ladybug earrings were an essential. I did the once over in the mirror at home, agreed with the reflection and headed out the door. Before meeting my girlfriends I checked one more time at church, to do a quick hairbrush/lip gloss touch up for our "date". All was well.

In a stroke of odd vanity, I chose to wear my hair down, with only a headband to keep it out of my face. My friends commented on how cute I looked (probably referring to my rounded belly, but I like to believe they were noticing the entire presentation). In the chatter before our show one friend mentioned wanting to run by Macy's after we were done to look at getting some new earrings. Apparently she had a bad habit of losing one to each matching pair she owned, and no longer had a single matched set. Thinking about how difficult life would be like without a single matched set of earrings (they are by far one of my most favorites fashion accessories - and I NEVER leave home without a pair on) I readily agreed to the venture. We took our seats, and began the movie.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I need to make sure you understand that I had BOTH earrings in the entire time this portion of my story is unfolding. Girls notice things like missing earrings on their friends. Between church, checking my own reflection twice, and someone specifically wanting to go shop for earrings, you better believe my own had been checked out. They were there - in my ears - dangling most cutely.

About half way through the movie I desperately needed to resecure my headband, but not wanting to be a bother to the people sitting directly behind me I couldn't really manage it correctly. I caught my hair, earring, glasses and I am sure the attention of the people sitting directly behind me while I tried to surreptitiously expedite my hair fiasco (the fact that we were watching Hairspray made it all the more comical). My headband was still not truly secure, but I figured I would fix it when the movie was over, and finished watching the show.

We walked to Starbucks for coffee (chai *wink*), and some chatski kapoopskies when one girlfriend looked at me across our table and said, "You're missing an earring."

WHAT!!! I instantly knew in my heart that it had come out during my fumbled attempt at hair management in the movie theater, but tried to remain calm and think the best of the situation. I checked my immediate surroundings, my clothes, the floor in Starbucks, etc. In an effort not to cry I took the one earring I still wore and placed it protectively in the coin pocket of my purse silently praying, "I know it is just an earring God, but please return it to me." After going to Macy's (and buying a new pair of earrings for myself so I could stop feeling naked) we walked back to the movie theater going the same route taken, and looking down the entire time. At the movie theater I implored the manager to look for my little earring. I even pulled the loner from my purse so he could see how sweet, and tender the situation was. I knew it was lost. I couldn't go into the theater during a movie, and there had already been clean-up after our show that would have swept up my little ladybug. I was devastated.

When I got home I placed the loner in his place on my earring rack, and almost came to tears seeing it hang there by itself. Then I became inspired! I called Jill and related the whole ugly mess, and asked if she would be willing to purchase me a replacement pair for this year's birthday present? She was equally sad for my loss, and agreed to set out in search of my replacement. I plucked the loner off my earring rack and dropped him back in my coin purse so Jill could compare him against potential replacements. And then I forgot to give him to Jill.

Over the following days, I was constantly being reminded about the loss of my earrings. I would reach for them, only to feel my heart sink when I remembered that one was missing. Then, just a couple days ago I had to run to an OB appointment, and once again reached for my ladybug earrings. "Drat," I thought, as I once again saw the lone earring dangle from my rack. I ran out the door silently musing how long I would keep the single earring. Bethany came with me to my doctor's appointment, and as a "thanks" for sitting so patiently with me I told her we would get a treat for dinner, just the two of us. I had some cash on me (talk about miracles! I never carry actual cash), so when I came to the drive through window to pay I used real money. The thought occurred to me that I might even have enough change to finish the sale off exactly. While I was emptying my coin purse I came across my ladybug earring, which I had forgotten to give to Jill all those weeks ago. I looked at him, lonely and so very cute, and resolved to pass him along the next time I saw her. But another curious thought was developing in my head... I thought I saw him hanging on my rack.

When we got home things were in a flurry. Christopher was leaving the following day for his trip to Mt Whitney, and I was taking Hannah up to Walnut Creek for a Speech Conference. In the hustle and bustle I once again forgot about my earring - until I stood in my bathroom brushing my teeth and looking directly at my earring rack. There was a ladybug earring hanging there. I looked closer. Did I have two different kinds of dangle ladybugs which might be confused for one another? No. I looked closer still. Finally, barely able to contain myself I ran downstairs and opened my coin purse. Yes, there was my earring. I grabbed him out of the purse and ran back upstairs. I could hardly believe what I was seeing, and literally had to place the earring from the coin purse onto the rack before I began to realize... they were an exact match. The missing earring which had come out of my ear at Del Monte Shopping Center nearly 4 weeks earlier was hanging on my earring rack. God had indeed returned my earring to me!

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

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