Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brown Eyed Girl

I stood at the finish line and watched her struggle.

Her tiny little frame. Her pink bathing suit. Her sweet lanky arms doing their back-stroking best.

In the middle of her lane she flipped to her belly. She still had a long way to go.

Her heat-mates, having finished, stood, teeth chattering at the shallow end of the pool. They were all waiting on her.

In the brevity of a second (but might've felt like an hour) her big brown eyes - water clumping her lashes - carried discouragement and fatigue.

She was in the ocean; the shore too far away.

So we cheered, and we clapped, and we yelled, "You're almost there!

And she flipped to her back and pressed on.

The smile on her face when she knew she had finished caused a sting in my eyes that remains there today.

So fatigued, as she was, she needed a boost from the water, but she walked as tall as a smallish swimmer could be...


We will drowned with out it. 

I stayed by the pool, my stop-watch in hand. My pencil, my score cards, my bottle of water. I recorded the times and cheered on for others, but I was traveling to places on my own stormy sea.

I was remembering days when someone encouraged my efforts, focused my faith, helped me to 'swim-on' when feeling fatigued. Those times were fresh air to my lungs, and cool water when thirsty. It framed the pictures of life I was too ambivalent to see.

I was remembering moments when (apart from my doing) I was privileged to watch encouragement help people I love... to get better, to have confidence, to learn to trust again.

Encouragement lends room for the hard-heart to soften, the broken-heart to find comfort, the hindered-heart to find hope. And last night, as a pool full of parents hollered and cheered, it helped a little brown-eyed girl make it to the finish line.

It helped this brown-eyed girl to remember.


God of all healing counsel! 
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, 
and before you know it, 
he brings us alongside someone else 
who is going through hard times 
so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.

2 Cor. 1:4 
(The Message)


Allison@Slice of Heaven said...

Awesome post! I needed that today!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

That was beautiful, Kellie. Thank you.

Kim said...

so sweet and very well said. I noticed that sweet little browned eyed girl too!