I remember the day I found out just how ‘crooked” I am:
I stood in line with 50 other pubescent girls. We giggled and talked to avoid what awaited us at the end of the line. “The examination.” We’d heard rumors about what it was like and what it could lead to. After unhooking your bra and slipping up your top, you bend down touch your toes. The school nurse, standing behind you, then looks at your spine. In most cases she then sent you on your merry way. UNLESS- your spine is crooked. Then you got “a note” to take home, and another note sent home. (In case you hid the first like a bad report card.)
If you recieved “a note” it led to doctor’s appointments and possibly a huge, uncomfortable brace. Worse yet: it could lead to surgery. We were being screened for scoliosis.
I was lucky. (bad luck, is luck, I suppose.) I got a note. And a Doctor’s appointment. And a complete bone study. (Think: x-raying everything… along side a metal ruler..)
The verdict? I’m crooked. But not crooked enough to have it straightened out. No surgery or bracing.
Just crooked. I still am.
I have scoliosis.
What does that mean? For the most part, not much. Only when there are pictures to hang or things that need to be straightened is it a problem. Then, we game we like to call: “Is this straight?” Wherein I “straighten” pictures on the wall and then ask my family if they are straight. They then tell me how much to tilt it in the other direction until I get it straight. If no one’s home when I need to hang something.. it’s a little like decorating via pin the tail on the donkey. I look, line things up, then close my eyes and aim for straight. I never hit it.
Not only is my perspective is skewed literally, it’s also skewed, figuratively. See-I think I know how things should be. In my life, in my family, in ministry and work… I think I have the answer to the question “Is this level? Does this look right?” The problem is, I (usually) don’t. I hate to admit how many times I’ve been surprised when God comes behind me (or before me) and arranges things in a way that look crooked to me.
I stand there confused and questioning: “Are you sure that’s right? Shouldn’t it be a little to the right? It just doesn’t look right to me..” Yeah.. I question the God of the universe about his plan….It may be as simple as a timing issue or as complicated as God not healing someone I care about, when I believe he can… or when a means of provision or path just makes sooo much sense to me and yet- God says “a little to the left.”
I’m in one of those place today.. a place where I THINK I knew how things SHOULD be but God has a different plan. Today.. the best I can do is remind myself.. “I ‘m crooked, What seems right to me may not be.” And then maybe.. sit on my hands and do my best to to “straighten” into crookedness the work that God is doing…and this is what he’s ALWAYS doing:
“A voice of one calling in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
5Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
6And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’ “[a]