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Oh Lord, What's in the Bag?

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My husband teases me frequently about being too sensitive, or too emotional and noted that my emotions can often turn on a dime. He reminded me of the days when we were raising kids, that I'd be all worn out by dinnertime and complaining about what our boys had done to annoy one another, how much laundry there was, and how I had no time for myself. Yet after our three sons were bathed and our daughter was sleeping contently snuggled beneath her blanket, I'd softly cry as I stood by the door to their rooms and watched them sleep. I'd express how beautiful they were and how grateful I was to have them. Then he'd say to me, are you the same woman who, not an hour ago was bemoaning the daily chores and expressing how exhausted she was? And I'd have to admit that I was. Herein lies my predicament. I am a woman of deep emotion and fickle. I have a knack for experiencing things at both ends of the spectrum. So here's what happened to me last Sunday.

I sat solemnly in the pew reading the scripture that the Pastor was discussing and agreeing with him that to hear God say, "Well done good and faithful servant," would be a wonderful thing. The more scripture I read, the more teary eyed I became at the realization that it is only the grace of God that will allow me to hear those words. Anyway, I am deeply moved andwas listening and praying quietly to myself, as a tear gently rolled down my face. Then, trying not to spoil my fervent attitude, I reach over to my purse, and quietly riffle through it looking for a tissue, determined to keep my spiritual focus. And then it happens… I cannot find a tissue, but feel something odd beneath the pile of pencils, keys, wallet, eyeglasses and make-up. What is this? I ask myself, disappointed that I have already become distracted, still reaching and feeling around. It feels like a plastic bag with something large, semisoft and weighty in it. So what is it? I search my mind trying desperately to remember what this oddness is in my purse. Finally I relent. I lift my purse to my lap, having given up any hope of spiritual breakthrough, I lift this bag of oddness out of the purse and eye it carefully, trying to inspect it without noisily opening up the bag and spoiling the reverent atmosphere. Not able to identify the contents, I finally open the bag as heads begin to turn at the ruffling sound. Now, I am amazed and shocked to find that I am holding a two pound piece of cheddar cheese that has been sitting in my purse for days. I feel the laughter welling up from my toes to my chest and quickly put my head down between my legs to muffle the sound. And there I was laughing all by myself, at myself, alone, with no one to share this very hysterical moment.

Contrary emotions, that's me. How can I go from supremely reverent to quietly hysterical so quickly? I don't know, but I know I can. Yes, I can rationalize, and explain that I had gone shopping three days before and had to make a cheese exchange. So, the customer service girl simply made the exchange and I stuffed the cheese into my purse. But that's no fun, thinking about the how's and the why's of it. What's fun is when I can feel something. It lets me know I'm alive, whether it's the tears of a grateful heart over the grace of God, or a two pound piece of cheese, I'm grateful that I feel things deeply. It allows me to both laugh and cry, and fortunately or unfortunately, it might happen at the same time!

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