Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
I saw God today in a paperclip.
No, I am not crazy, well, my kids might think I am, but I’m not, really. I do have this crazy-wonderful thing going on right now with paperclips.
It started in the summer. On my daily walks, I began to notice paperclips on the ground. I’d pick one up, put it in my pocket and continue on my way. After a few weeks, I reached into my jean pocket and was amazed that it was loaded with paperclips.
Suddenly, I was finding them all over the place—on the blacktop when I stepped out of my car, on dirt paths going to the beach, by my feet at conference in Las Vegas (where literally thousands of people had walked right over it).
What was going on?
My son finally asked me to stop gasping and pointing at paperclips on the ground every time we went anywhere because it was really freaking him out.
I told my friend, Cyndi, about this phenomenon and she said, “Usually when the universe is throwing things at you like that it means you are supposed to pay attention.”
It had my attention. But what did it MEAN?
“What does a paperclip signify to YOU?” Cyndi asked.
I thought about it. Maybe it meant that I was supposed to get organized. In my day-job, clips hold papers together in a tight, neat way. Taking it as a sign that I was not organized enough, I cleaned the house, the car, my closet, and my own stack of paperwork.
But that wasn’t the answer.
The paperclips didn’t stop appearing. Nearly every day I found one, sometimes two, all sizes and colors. They showed up on weekends, weekdays, at night, in the morning, in the pharmacy line at Rite Aid when I was getting medicine for sick kids, in the waiting room while I waited to be called in for my mammogram, on sidewalks, at the base of trees, stuck in the dirt.
My friend, Tina, read up on what paperclips signify in dreams. That was good, but I wasn’t dreaming. I was awake and in awe, but I was no closer to an answer.
I prayed in the car this morning asking for strength. I was driving to a big work meeting in which I had to present bad news, difficult information, and be prepared for any questions that the thirty people in the group might ask of me. Moments before the meeting began (warning: a TMI statement is coming, so if you are at all a bit squeamish you might want to cover your ears and hum for the next bit) I realized my p-e-r-i-o-d had arrived early. Dear God, I wasn’t prepared for this! What a time for it. I raced out of the room to take care of matters.
You can stop humming now because this part is important.
What did I see on the ramp to the portable-potty? You guessed it, a shiny, warm from the sun, paperclip. I carried it in my hand and placed it on the table in front of me as the meeting began. It was a tough one, but I was prepared and all went well.
In the car on the way home, I used my author techniques to brainstorm ideas about the paperclip. What does it look like? It flows in a circular design like the infinity sign—never-ending. It is shiny (if metallic) or colorful and bright. What does it do? It holds things together and doesn’t let go.
Here comes the epiphany…The paperclips aren't from some wacky accountants who just happen to be ten feet ahead of me dropping paperclips everywhere I go. No.
They are from God.
When I walk, I pray. I tell God how beautiful the trees are, the sky, the hills...I thank him for the day, the sun on my back, the cool air on my face... Basically, we chat (silently and all one-sided on my part). I know He’s there, but maybe, He wanted to give me a little something to carry with me as I walk with Him. A love token to keep in my hand, or my pocket, that flows in a never-ending design (like infinity). It’s a shiny and/or colorful token, so that I don’t miss it on the ground. And it fits neatly in my hand.
When I was having my freak-out this morning about the meeting, He threw another sparkly warm sign at my feet to remind me that He is always there. Holding me together. Loving me forever.
And if I had any doubts about His message, they went away once I turned on the car radio. The DJ played George Straight’s beautiful song, “I Saw God Today.” The message was loud and clear.
Mr. Straight tells us that God’s fingerprints are everywhere. Perhaps, we need to look a little harder to see them.
Have you had any signs lately?