Twisted Tights and Lenten Prayers

One of my favorite posts from a few years ago. May it speak to your heart during this Lenten season.

I was out of sorts.
Uncomfortable.
Self-conscious.

I was 13 years old, standing on the stage in a college auditorium under hot lights, along with eight other 4-H’ers from northern Minnesota.

We were competing in a Good Grooming Contest. Yes, you read that correctly. A Good Grooming Contest.

{Good grief. As if it’s not awkward enough to just be 13 years old.}

Representing the Lucky Leaf 4-H Club (which I loved, by the way), my appearance, cleanliness, and “good grooming” were being evaluated by a man and a woman who I guess knew a lot about good grooming. My eight brave comrades and I stood in a line on the stage and the man and the woman threaded their way through us while our parents anxiously watched from their red velvet auditorium seats.

{Really.  I mean, really.  Why?}

But something was definitely off. I just couldn’t get my tights to feel right.

My pink and white dress with the thin, pink ribbon at the neckline, its Peter Pan collar, and my black patent shoes were just too cute. My short little blond bob represented a good hair day. And I was clean.

But my white tights? Twisted.  And I kept squirming, trying to get them to straighten out.

Well… There wasn’t any #1 Good Groomer purple ribbon in my lap on the way home.

But I did discover the reason for my discomfort.

One of the legs of my tights was sewn on backwards. And since my feet both point in the same direction, these tights would never fit right. No matter how hard I squirmed. There was no way I could get that tight untwisted.

Just like life. Sometimes, you just know something’s off, right? And all the wriggling and twisting and fussing doesn’t make it better.

That’s when I remember I need to deal with the real problem. And that usually includes coming clean on where I’ve messed up and asking for help moving forward.

I was reminded of this last Sunday in church as we prepared to enter the Lenten season.

We sang my very favorite Confession and Absolution, “Forgive Me,” written by our friend and former pastor, Tom Gundermann.

 Forgive me, Lord, forgive me, For my heart has gone its way.
I ignored your Word, I ignored Your children. Please, Lord, forgive me.
Take my hand and lead me away from sin. Take my heart and make it new.
Take my life and make it Yours my King, Help me dedicate my life to You.

Isn’t that just beautiful? The message is simple…and powerful.

So when my heart is uncomfortable and unsettled, and I don’t know what to fix….

I need to stop fussing and take the time to straighten it out…

…Confess where I’ve messed up, and ask God to get me and my heart back on track.

And, oh… isn’t the Lenten season a perfect time to really do some soul-searching and heart-checking? To see what’s backwards and misshapen and out of sorts?

Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

It feels so good to get and keep things untwisted.
Comfortable.
Settled.

You are Extraordinarily Significant!