I've been away on a freak out. What is a freak out, you ask? A freak out is what happens when you see your picture on the website of a very large Christian literary agency. Your "author photo", and a bio. I'm right above D. James Kennedy. Hence, the freak out.
It's weird. I hope no one looks at that site and thinks I'm a "Christian Personality." I am a Christian as a matter of grace. I have a personality, and that was just dumb luck. But I don't think I'm a "Christian Personality".
Vikki sent me an e-mail asking for a bio, and then I really freaked out. What in the world do I have to say? So far, what they have up there is "Claudia calls herself the ragamuffin diva. She says she is an unworthy servant, loved by God and amazed by grace." Frankly, I thought that just about summed me up.
I could have mentioned other places that I've been published, but really, they weren't very impressive. I could have said I have a degree, but the truth is, I work in a group home in a job that doesn't use any of the skills I spent a lot of money to get. I'm a classic underachiever, and my own worst enemy to boot. I mean, a few months ago I told Ken I was going to Tattoo School. He didn't dignify that with an answer.
I've been thinking, "What do you want me to do?" in the general direction of God. You'd think that at 40 I would not have to ask that. I should have had my own house, be rooted and comfortable in a career, drive a decent car, and blah, blah, blah. But no. Here I am. Just beginning to bud as a writer. No car. No house. Raggedy clothes because the little money I have usually goes to a book I love, instead of a shirt, pants, or a decent pair of shoes. I see the frustration in my childen because they don't have what many of their friends have. Every Christmas I feel like a dismal, wretched failure.
But in all of this there is God.
I was coming home the other day, and I realized, "I don't know where I am." I was in my own neighborhood, lost and disoriented. We moved here in November, when the cold drives me inward and I curl up in a little ball and hope to survive another dark, cold season. We didn't get out much. Spring came and went too fast, and now it's July, and I've worked and I've traveled, and did almost no writing. I did so little seeing that one day, I looked up and didn't know the way home, or even where home is.
But in all of this, there is God.
Tonight I took a walk. Between the neighborhood street there is a bridge. You cross the highway on it, and it was wild, looking down at cars speeding to their destinations. Beyond the bridge was a park, but ZZ was tired, and she's little, and I didn't want to push her.
Fireflies lit, and extinguished their lights, and lit again. July heat clung to my body like a summer lover's embrace. All around me, the voices of children, and the clack of their flip flops, and the sight of their thin, brown or caramel colored legs. I had everything money couldn't buy in those moments. Enough health to still be walking, air in the lungs to breathe freely, the love of family, and awareness of God in it all.
Suddenly the anxiety I've felt about the remote possibility that I may actually get to be what I've longed to be since I was a child faded.
It's good to know you, God. It's good to be your friend.
Sorry, I've been away so long dear readers. I'll try to do better.
In love and grace,