There’s Only One
My back door squeaks as I swing it open. I step out into the muggy July air, intent on locating God so I can show Him how aggravated I am. I spot Him near the back fence, playing fetch with Daisy. He lobs her tennis ball and she takes off in hot pursuit. I’m about to make my way over to Him, but I stop when I see Daisy run back and plop the ball at God’s feet.
What? She never wants to give it back to me.
Dang He’s good.
I shake my head in amusement and realize God’s walking my way. Suddenly I remember why I wanted to find Him. As soon as He steps onto the deck, I throw the book I’m holding onto the picnic table. I thought my juvenile display was purely for emphasis, so I’m surprised by the actual tension coursing through me.
“I’m done reading this book!”
“Well hello to you too,” He says as He scratches behind Daisy’s ears and sits down across the table. “What book is that?”
“A Chance To Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael.”
He smiles. “I know that one. Great book. Even greater woman.”
“Understatement,” I say, slight hostility in my tone. “When a woman decides never to marry and give her entire life over to being a missionary in India because she is so devoted to You, I’d say she plunged past great. She was pretty much a saint,” I mutter. “I can never be that.”
“Well that’s a relief,” He says. My eyes snap to His and He laughs. “Sometimes you make the most ridiculous assumptions about what I want.” He takes Daisy’s face in His hands and says to her, “Doesn’t she?” Daisy ignores the question and leans her head into His hand, eager for more ear-rubbing. He turns back to me. “I don’t want you to be Amy Carmichael or any of the other incredible women you’ve recently put on a pedestal.”
“You sure about that?” I ask.
“Just because there were and are people who are doing great things in My name doesn’t mean I want you to be them. You’re confusing jealousy and worry over your inadequacies with My desires. I want you to be Beth Pensinger. And only you can be her.”
“Oh,” I say and look down. “But what about—”
“Take comfort from their journeys,” He says. “Their stories are not shared to point out your shortcomings. They’re shared so you’ll know you’re not alone.” He picks up the book from the table and thumbs through it. “Look here. You aren’t the only one to ever doubt what you think I told you to do because of circumstances.”
I take the offered book and skim over the words He pointed to. Then I sit; processing what He’s just said. I feel the barest hint of a smile when I finally meet His gaze.
He doesn’t break eye contact as He says, “Come on Daisy. Let’s play keep away with Beth.” He winks as He goes off in search of the tennis ball.