God remembered us when we were down...rescued us from the trampling boot.~Psalm 136:3 (The Message)
The flawless spring day lured me outside. No one about, so I could honor social distancing. How could a day be so glorious in such dark times? If only I could drink a cup of that sunlight.
Then they appeared. Had I been so lost in thought I'd not noticed the pair? The girl trailed miles of finely plaited hair down her back, bright purple, red and golden beads threaded through the braids. When she smiled at me from across the road, perfect white teeth seemed to be synonymous with the sunlit day. A gray puppy danced at her feet. The young woman and I both stopped and turned toward each other, like we needed to. She laughed when the puppy bounded toward me, not scolding her. I could see the pink inside its ears, like the subtle color of a seashell. I wanted to pet the dog's round belly, but didn't, not risking that my touch could somehow hurt this striking individual. Then the puppy ran back to its owner. "Her name's Pearl," she shouted. "Pearl helps me not be so afraid." The girl and I lingered a moment, making eye contact, Pearl now sat panting. I could see the sharp puppy teeth, and I noted her gentle eyes.
Later in the day, the afternoon sun spilled through the open window and lit the painting I have hanging over my reading chair. My uncle painted the portrait of a woman I did not know. When I had the piece hanging in my office, years ago, when I was younger, patients used to ask if the woman was me. Perhaps there was a resemblance in that more youthful season. My uncle said the woman was no one he knew--he created her from his artist's mind. The title: "Woman In The Pink Shirt." I named her Sophia. The name means "wisdom." She seemed to have an intricate amalgamation of unspoken wisdom, vulnerability and confidence emanating from her expression. She is seated. At rest. Wearing a pink shirt.
As I gazed at the painting, I realized I longed for these pristine qualities for myself at this time in history--yearned for wisdom, the courage not to strive and fear and panic, and the confidence to unleash my faith, free as little Pearl. To remember that God has not forgotten the world, as He so loves it. To trust that He rescues us from the trampling boot.