There are about a million birthdays in April. Some of them I was able to write birthday blogs for but some of them I had to miss. If you didn't get one, I am incredibly sorry. Please, don't take it personally. :-)
Today's is a birthday I cannot miss. I'm often complemented on how I can see God in all sorts of weird ways and call them "God Moments." I haven't always been able to do that. Through a year's worth of God moments of her own, I was able to copy Natalie's lead and see God in little, weird things. Trust me, if you think some of my God moments are weird, ask Natalie about He spoke through the chemistry principle of microscopic reverse or anything else that relates to sports, science, and the bathroom.
Thus, for her birthday, I'd love to share one of her God moments. The problem is that I need to find a censored one that is appropriate for such a wide reading audience. Not mortifying Natalie isn't quite an option. Hey, she's the one that showed up to small group wearing a bathrobe to demonstrate how Isaiah walked around naked for three years (see Isaiah 20). She's the one that took our small group on Babylonian exile through the icy rain. She's the one that burned two bagels in less than a half an hour. She's the one that broke two fingers playing flag football.
After a few days of pain, Natalie finally decided she should go to the doctor for her two injured fingers. The identical x-rays were hanging side-by-side and, as she tells it, the doctor was looking from one to the other to her to her hands with a confused look on his face.
Doctor: These are two different fingers.
Natalie: Yes, sir.
Doctor: These are two different hands.
Natalie: Yes, sir.
Doctor: Please tell me this was the same play.
Natalie: No, sir.
She'd been playing a co-ed game of flag football here on campus when she reached for the flag of one of her opponents. She got the flag but she also got her right hand tangled in his shorts. Broken right middle finger. She's broken enough bones to realize what she'd done but is way too competitive to remove herself from the game. Besides, if she benched herself her team would have to forfeit. A little while later she reached for her opponent's flag with her left hand and the exact same thing happened again. Broken finger on the left hand. Any sensible person would have learned her lesson and forced her team for forfeit the game. She'd already not just taken one for the team but two. Nope, Natalie kept playing. In fact, she even scored a touchdown with two broken fingers; she said she carried the ball clutched between her forearms and her chest as she waddled towards the end zone.
By Monday at small group time she'd be amused by the identical x-rays and had two splints on her fingers.
Apparently the flesh-colored splints make it look like her fingers were wearing hoodies, so she drew faces on her fingernails. The right-hand one became Jesus and the left-hand one became John the Baptist. Imagine Laura's reaction (her faithful co-leader who frequently reminded her "Be censored, Natalie!"). It went something like, "NATALIE! You cannot flip someone off with Jesus!"
Thus was my small group freshman year, and as is common for Natalie, God spoke through such a bizarre series of events.
She went on to talk about how sometimes she makes the same mistake twice. Sometimes she puts bagels in the oven and forgets about them until they're burned to chars and sometimes she does it again ten minute later. Sometimes she burns two bagels again two weeks later. Sometimes she breaks two fingers in the same football game. Sometimes she had to make the same mistake twice before God gets her attention. Do we do the same thing? Are we so caught up in what we're doing that we forget to pay attention to what we're doing? That we forget to pay attention to God?
Luckily, there is good news for us. Even out of her mistake of breaking fingers, God was still able to do something remarkable when He helped her score. He can still do pretty cool things with our double-mess ups. And frankly, I think that's a darn good thing.
I love you guys. A lot.