Yes, I stole a bra, but let me explain.
After my friend and I had enjoyed a light lunch at our new local eatery, we decided to spend a few minutes meandering the shops before carpool beckoned. The sun was out, the sky was blue, the shops were open.
All was calm as we wandered from shop to shop.
Then it happened.
“Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!! I’ve stolen a bra!” I screamed.
Having just left the first boutique without splashing any cash, I pushed open the door of our next fashion emporium. Time slowed as I noticed the rather ugly bra dangling from my wrist. My ear-piercing public confession rang out across the neighborhood pronouncing me guilty to everyone within a five-mile radius.
“I stole a bra, oh my goodness, I stole a bra!” I panicked.
I spun on my heels, waving the snow-white undergarment above my head, surrendering to my fate. Spinning around I came face to face with the store’s owner calmly peering out of her shop door, curiosity and confusion spreading across her face.
Her look said, “Did this middle-aged English woman really walk out of my store blatantly wearing a ugly, unsexy, brassiere slung over her wrist like a Kate Spade clutch?”
To which the answer was, most decidedly, YES! She did!
With a thousand apologies gushing forth in my humblest English accent (Downton Abby here I come), I paid for the bra and left, embarrassed and contrite.
The understanding shop owner had watched in silent disbelief as I’d picked up the bra, confiding in my friend that I’d been looking for one just like it, slung it nonchalantly over my wrist, then get distracted by all the beautiful shiny objects in the jewelry area. Absent-mindedly I’d left with the bra still dangling from my wrist.
Her grace, humor and understanding kept me out of jail, and in a slightly heady, euphoric mood for the rest of the day. I had the clear sense I’d dodged a bullet, or at least an awkward conversation with my teenagers about underwear, policemen and the dangers of mixing the two.
As the day wore on, my relief turned to reflection as I felt God nudge me to consider the day’s events. Was there an allegorical connection between my lingerie thieving and my tendency towards emotional kleptomania?
“How much emotional baggage, invisibly slung over your wrist, do you carry around on a day to day basis?” He asked.
Whoa! He had me there! Busted! Guilty as charged. He’d seen right through me.
I could see my arm, tired and exhausted from the weight of emotions and beliefs I’ve refused to put down over the years. Hippy looking hurts from growing up in the 70s slung next to beliefs from the 80s in their neon ra-ra skirts. Work related resentments, deep unforgiveness from failed relationships, and ugly self-beliefs, all tumbling down my arm like thrift store rejects.
“I’m not good enough.”
“I can’t forgive him.”
“You’ll leave me.”
And so the list went on.
Thankfully, just like the shop-keeper, God’s grace and humor prevails. And like the shop-keeper, He knows we didn’t mean to pick up all that emotional detritus along the bumpy road of life. He knows it weighs us down and gets us into all sorts of trouble, and He shows us how to put it down.
Unlike my new favorite shop owner, God didn’t make us pay. We don’t owe a thing. Nada. Zip. Zero. All we have to do is put them down and let go. He wants to set us free.
So, that’s how God spoke through a very unattractive piece of underwear, to a dippy, English kleptomanic, about how to lay down her emotional baggage! Wow. I guess He meant it when He said:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
– Isaiah 55:8
I love His sense of humor!
What’s He nudging you to see today? Do you have as much emotional baggage slowing you down as I do? Let me invite you to lay it all down with God. He’s already paid for it so you don’t have to. What a gentleman!
Niki Hardy is a Brit in the USA. A self confessed fresh air junkie, dog lover, and tea drinker, she is happiest running trails with her dogs. As a cancer survivor with three teenagers, she loves to find humor and grace in the midst of life and firmly believes that God wants us to thrive and not just survive when life get hard. She writes over on her blog, My Story My God.
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