|Me (left) in gangsta hat
Ha! I had to laugh out loud.
Not a tee-hee, no. One of those tilt-your-head-back-open-your-mouth-wide-and-let-it-rip kind of laughs.
Matter of fact, I’m chuckling now just thinking about it.
I was walking down a long corridor last week in the Orange County Convention Center (Orlando) toward the massive entrance doors to the ICRS (International Christian Retailers Show).
|Speaking gig hat
As you can imagine by such an ostentatious title, this was a big deal. The cavernous place was stuffed with publishers, publishing house editors, manufacturers, bookstore owners and managers, authors I’d long idolized, literary agents, publicists, and just about anybody you can think of even remotely associated with Christian publishing.
Gulp. I was a little intimated and a lot nervous.This was the big time. All the players were here. I felt like a pet rock at a Barbie Doll convention. So out of place. Confidence subzero.
|London touring hat
As I approached the enormous bank of double doors, each manned with uniformed Convention Center personnel, I was completely engrossed in my own thoughts about which meetings I was scheduled to attend, where, with whom, and when. No doubt my concentration scowl was front and center on my distracted face.
Then it happened. A cheek tweek from Papa God. Just like you might do to a scared little kid you wanted to love on. And my herspective completely shifted. Here’s what went down.
I came out of my stupor to become suddenly aware that the two twenty-something Convention Center staff young men standing at the door I was about to pass through were wearing huge smiles and had apparently just said something. To me.
|Scottish cap in Scotland
“Uh, excuse me?” I stammered, unable to resist smiling back at their engaging expressions. Were they trying to engage me? Whatever for? Could that be … admiration (???) on their faces? Or maybe it was constipation.
“You’re rockin’ that hat, girl,” said the cutie about one third my age.
“Oooh, yeah,” agreed the other fellow whose diapers I might have changed, nodding like the bobblehead on my car dash. “Rockin’ it gooood.”
Rockin’ … stylin’… smokin… these are not terms usually applied to me. And certainly not by young men who, by evidence of the elaborate tats peeking from beneath their shirt sleeves and the hip diamond earring studs they sported, were laboriously bobbing and weaving around fashion knockout world.
But I could tell they weren’t making fun. They really meant it. Go, girl.
The unexpectedness and absurdity of it all brought instant anxiety-reducing laughter into my stressed-out day. I howled.
“You made my day, guys. Thanks!” I called as I entered the lion’s den with my chin a little higher and my shoulders a little straighter.
Yep, it surely was a cheek tweek from Papa. And from a most unlikely place. He knew I needed something outside the box to give me that little zing of confidence I’d evidently left locked in the 110-degree car (this was in Orlando).
He knew I needed to know I’m not a pet rock. Hey, I’m Seffner Barbie. (I just had another great guffaw there, how ’bout you?)
|Hangin in Liverpool with John Lennon
But most of all, Papa knew I was a stress mess and needed to laugh. Because laughter is a catalyst to release the joy of the Lord in our spirits. And our spirits need Jesus joy spurting upward through the crusty outer layers like a volcano erupting and covering us and everyone around us with Papa’s incredible love.
Your cheek tweeks from Papa probably don’t have anything to do with hats. But they still serve to remind you of his never-ending affection for you, boost your confidence, and paste a goofy grin on your granite-hewn face.
Won’t you share with me a few of your recent cheek tweeks from Papa God?