Thursday, August 24, 2006

Seeing the Art in Me

Tonight I told a co-worker that I am leaving the company, and she asked what I would be doing after. When I explained that I wanted to go to seminary, she said, "Well, you know, you have such an aura of purity about you," indicating that it made sense to her I would want to go to seminary. It was such a nice thing for her to say, and unexpected.

As I walked home tonight, thinking about what she said, I was pretty choked up and emotional. "Pure" is not the first word I would use to describe myself. To know that someone sees that quality in me is touching. I don't often see it or feel it myself.

Maybe that's because I am too quick to remind myself of my past; of purity forfeited on boys, parties, meanness, lies, gossip. Maybe it's because I am too slow to believe the promise that purity can be restored.

Maybe it's because I'm all too aware of how much I wanted to punch a certain co-worker in the nose tonight; I'm aware of all the areas of my life I'm not practicing patience, those times when I let jealousy win, the ways I'm still so selfish. Maybe because I spend too much time in self-absorbtion instead of observing how Jesus is slowly, steadily, unfailingly conforming me to His image.

To have my purity affirmed by others, as it was tonight, is to have God's existence affirmed for me. Who else but God could take me, mold me, and change me into something pure?

I'm also excited to know that in said purity my co-worker is seeing not me, but God himself.


On a lighter note, a friend talked me out of tears by helping me to imagine all the possible reasons I could give to other co-workers when explaining my impending departure. We decided it would be most funny if I were to give a different explanation to each new person I tell, and let them puzzle over compared notes later.

Co-worker: "So you're quitting...where are you going?"
Me: "I'm going to sell previously-owned Saturns in Seacaucas."

"I'm taking up the harp, and hope to start busking in the subway soon."
"I've always wanted to learn how to make cottage cheese. There's a program in Brooklyn, loosely associated with the Pratt Institute..."
"I'm going to take up crafting, and then peddle my wares in Union Square."
"Running for governor. Or senator. Something like that."
"Hoping to get into the coat-check line of business."

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