I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode.
I was in the waiting area of a sporting facility where Savannah takes classes. It’s a small space and there was a relatively large group of parents nestled in nice and close. I pulled out my computer and tried to focus on some writing I needed to get done.
Unfortunately, I was seated beside a talker. A loud talker.
The woman beside me was chatting with her husband. Loudly. The content of her conversation made it seem like she wanted the entire room to hear. Every subject she brought up, she subtly – or not so subtly – tooted her own horn.
“So I told him, well, yes, I have GREAT credit….”
She went on, “And then I was like, Well, I should definitely invest in that. I’ll make a boatload. You know, like on that last deal.”
And on…..“So Janie told me, ‘Girl, you’re amazing:’ and I just laughed, you know?”
Her husband didn’t have much to say in response, but apparently he was nodding because she continued, undeterred.
I shut my computer. I tried not to give an annoyed glance in her direction, although other parents did not share my level of self control and shot her a few strongly laced glares.
To no avail.
So we all sat there, irritated.
And then I felt the nudge. The nudge I want and yet don’t always like. The nudge that said, “You’re not so different.”
But then some conversations came to mind.
“Hey, Elsa, don’t you just love this state? Such fun weather!”
“For sure! So speaking of state, did I tell you that Wilna won the state championship for basketball? She was amazing!!”
“So Elsa, aren’t those the cutest kids over there?”
“Kids? Did you say cute kids? I have eight cute kids, actually. Count em’, eight. And seven cute grandbabies. Yeah, what can I say? They’re cute. I’m cute. And really, being mama to eight makes me a very interesting person to know.”
“Elsa, I read the greatest book the other day.”
“Book? Did you say book? I’ve written some books. A few. Because you know, I’m an author. Have I told you that?”
“Only 465 times.”
Okay, the conversations weren’t SO blatantly self-serving, but I’ve definitely woven tidbits into interactions, trying to communicate something to the person I’m with. Worth. Value. That I matter. That I’m doing something important. That I could be very fun to know.
And I don’t have to.
You don’t have to.
We matter. Me, in my disheveled clothes and wild hair. Or you, with the beautiful children and the cute outfits. Or you, with your chaotic family and messy kitchen. Or you, with the broken marriage and the wayward kids. Or you, with the perfect home and the nice career. Or you, with the sad heart, feeling like a lost soul.
Each one of us. In our highest of highs and our lowest of lows.
Not because of a single thing we’ve done, or anything our kids have done, but because we are made by a loving God who knows our name, who fashioned us carefully – with joy! A God who gave us all our unique gifts and talents, and who doesn’t love us based on our credit score or our accomplishments or our tidiness. He loves us because we are his workmanship, his joy, his child.
And when we know that, truly know that all the way down to our toes, we don’t have to insert our value into a single conversation. we can just visit with others with a smile on our face and our hair all wild, and know that the Savior of the world calls us his own and would have us no other way than…