It seems meaningless, and or, it may seem unimportant on the surface and maybe can be assumed that she's unfinished or unkept. I’m referring to a button that isn’t buttoned or zipper that isn’t zipped all the way on the back of a dress or blouse on a woman. Many of us ladies may or may not notice such a thing on someone else’s body, especially if it’s someone you don't personally know, and if you do see that a button isn’t buttoned or a zipper isn’t all the way zipped to the top, you may hesitate to bring attention to it. While, others may instinctively say something and offer to help a sista out.
From my widow’s heart and experience, I can recall many a day when I wasn’t able to fasten the button or zip the zipper to the top because of my own limitations of attempting to do so on myself. Attempt after attempt I would try to complete my look before heading out to pastor on a Sunday morning and failing to be able accomplish such a seemingly simple task. Mostly it was because the job needed someone else who wasn’t wearing the item to be able to do it. After several frustrating attempts to get the hook around the tiny button, or zip the zipper, I surrendered to my failed attempts and left the house undone.
Thank God for Jessica! Often, I would find beautiful Jessica and her family waiting for me at the front door of the church as I was delayed from arriving because I was attempting to fasten the button. Sometimes I would remember and immediately say Jessica, can you please button this button for me? Other times, upon arriving at the church I would completely forget that I was unbuttoned, until Jessica in her soft and reassuring voice would say, “Pastor, let me button this for you.” Grateful, I would eagerly tell her how much I appreciated her assistance to notice and help a sista out! And I don’t want to discredit the times that I left my house completely unaware that I didn’t button or zip my dress and Jessica wouldn’t say a word, but I could feel her buttoning me up. What kindness, what love, what loyalty and what servanthood.
The purpose of this blog is to bring awareness to the numerous women who couldn’t zip or button their own piece of clothing. Each situation has a story behind it. Mine was I was a widow, and I didn’t have a second set of hands that was able to help a sista out. Maybe it’s a single mama who didn’t have a child that was old enough to understand how to push the tiny button through the tiny whole. Maybe it was the working woman who was just so overwhelmed with other things vying for her attention that she didn’t notice there was even a button. And, then there’s the precious and beautiful elderly woman whose fingers don’t work the way they used to, and their flexibility doesn’t allow them to lift their arms to be able to accomplish the task.
Thanks for noticing. Noticing is caring and you may have just helped a sista out!
Figure it Out and Get Along
As a parent, maybe you can relate to this: you have been given beautiful, precious, and equally adorable children to love and nurture. Yet, the seemingly simple responsibility of these precious ones to get along with each other gets out of sorts, and instead of harmony and unity, they argue, they fight, they rant at each other, they pick on each other, and then proceed to tell you about it. I mean, you’re the parent so you can punish them, right? They believe that you hold the key to making the other one behave and stop the mess. But, at some point in the conflicts, the arguments, the tic for tac of your children against each other, you wonder why they can’t just get along? How hard can it be? They are siblings. Yet, each of them contribute to the conflict by verbally pointing out the things that the other is doing wrong, “He’s looking at me.” “She’s making a face at me.” “Tell him to stop it!” They cry uncontrollably, “Mom, he won’t stop!” While the instigator smirks by sticking out their tongue when you’re unaware. Get the picture? Awe, yes, the sibling rivalry season, always…in season.
As a parent, I think we have all been there and bought the shirt. Obviously, there is an ongoing rivalry between the children, which can breed frustration as a parent as you must witness their conflicts over and over. I mean, they are family, so what’s the problem?? They must be together because they live together, they’re related, and they will continue being in each other’s lives under the same roof, together! Why can’t they just get along??? Perhaps in your frustration you remind them by saying things like, “Come on, do we have to go through this again?” At some point, well, and probably at the point that you have reached your limit, you may scream, “Stop fighting! You guys have to figure it out and learn to get along!”
Fast forward to today, right now in time, our current world where there is severe civil unrest. People fighting to be heard, rioting to express their frustration and violence to express their disagreement with the injustices that keep occurring. Why should we be surprised that not getting along with one another seems to come more naturally than getting along with each other? Think about it, as children, we have learned to not get along with our siblings at home, or our friends at school. It’s been taught to us and almost engrained in us to be at odd with each other, so we shouldn’t be too surprised to see it continue into our adult years. It happened when we were children, until someone in authority, a parent or a teacher, or if you were in a close community, it was someone else’s mama who yelled, “Enough! Stop it, you all gotta learn to get along with each other!”
Can we just be real? It’s the enemy who makes himself famous amongst us by getting into our heads, through our emotions to find ways that divide us. Often, multiple ways, countless ways, big ways and small ways that point out our differences and justifies us defending ourselves with self-righteousness. In the heat of the moment, those evil plots always seem right and take precedence over the option of choosing to figure it out and get along.
The enemy’s tactics to steal, kill and destroy is old, but it still works effectively among humanity, so it continues strong. His divisive ways are often manifested through highlighting the differences between us. Even as children from the same family who share the same experiences and space, find reasons to have conflict instead of finding the commonalities of each other. The truth is we can't on our own figure it out how to get along with each other. We in of ourselves aren't able to effectively look past the differences that divide us. If we could, there would be no need for Jesus.
In the Bible, James 4:7-8, we read these words, “So then, surrender to God, stand up to the devil and resist him and he will flee in agony. Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. At the point of your choice to surrender to God and to resist the enemy, the enemy must flee from you. In his absence, you will have less and less of the reoccurring invitation to look for what divides you from others. And, as you draw closer and closer to God, you will find Him filling your heart with His love and compassion. Which allows us to find and focus on the similarities, the things that we have in common with others. That, coupled with an attitude of humility we will be in a position that allows us to be able to get along with each other!
Love, sweet love, is what the world needs.
P.S. You will never encounter anyone who God doesn’t love.