Meet my friend Tootie.
Tootie is very brash. She totally runs everything into the ground. I mean, she kills it. Like, stop talking about it already!!! She over-exaggerates everything just a bit. And, she does a lot of name calling. Did I mention she curses like a sailor?
She’s just not my type.
In the beginning, seeing Tootie made my stomach drop just a few inches lower. My eyes drooped and my expression became sullen accompanied by a “This is going to be a long day” sigh.
Do you know someone like this?
It was as if the life was sucked out of me momentarily.
Tootie had no idea that I felt this way so she just kept talking….and talking…and talking.
I just kept sulking and pretending (insert fake “Ha,ha!”)…sulking and pretending….sulking and pretending.
But, there was one thing I couldn’t deny. She was hilarious and she wasn’t even trying to be funny. She just had that personality! It reminded me of my late aunt, Mattie Lee (we called her Ma Lee for short). Ma Lee was the type that would say something to you with a straight face and keep that straight face as you ran around the room crying, shrieking, gasping, and trying not to pee yourself. If I believed in reincarnation, I’d say my aunt came back as Tootie.
And, one day, after peeing on myself, I’m sure, I didn’t notice the cursing or the name calling. I started joking back with her, asking her questions about her life, and her family. I found myself asking how she was doing and actually feeling jovial when I saw her.
She was the same cursing, name-calling, loud, over-exaggerating, repeat the story 900 times Tootie. She hadn’t changed.
I let the little aggravations roll off my shoulders. I stopped nitpicking every annoying detail or thinking about how to be a good Christian around her. When I stopped seeing her through the layers of labels I had placed on her, I was free to simply enjoy her.
I’ve never told her this, but I’ve grown to love her. I think she’s a super awesome person. She’s shared so much of herself and I’ve learned so much just by listening. She is one of the best story tellers I’ve ever met. And, she has lived a life that makes me feel like I’ve lived in a shoebox for 30 years.
After spending time with her, I always feel like Jesus. He knows all of our sins and yet He delights in us. He doesn’t focus on the 800 shortcomings we have. He looks deeper. He thinks bigger. I feel like I finally get it.
If I got caught up on Tootie’s shortcomings and walked away, it would have been a great loss. Thankfully, I took off my judgement-rimmed glasses and looked a little deeper. What I found was a beautiful person standing in front of me.
I hope that you, too, will take off your judgement-rimmed glasses and look deeper. You, too, will find beauty all around you.
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With UBER amounts of love,