Sweaty Fingerprints, Stars, and Bad Pictures

The sauna temperature was 139 degrees this morning when I ran my hand through my hair, then leaned on the wall. The image it left struck me.

I have certainly seen my handprint before. But have I looked at it recently?

From Wikipedia: Fingerprint identification is the process of comparing two instances of friction ridge skin impressions, from human fingers, the palm of the hand or even toes, to determine whether these impressions could have come from the same individual. The flexibility of friction ridge skin means that no two finger or palm prints are ever exactly alike in every detail.

But have I thought recently about what that means?

Doubtful. Who has time to think about fingerprints? Who has time to think at all?

When I was 10, two of my friends came up behind me as I was doing yard chores. They heard me talking, but I was alone. Susie asked what I was doing. I told her I was practicing being interviewed, because one day I was going to be very famous. They looked at each other, then at me, with puzzled faces. After a moment, Susie said, “You’re weird!” And off they went.

That notion of special-ness had been with me for as long as I could remember. I always thought I would be different than the average bear, that I was not destined for a “normal” life. Had no idea what that meant, only that I felt that way.

And I remember that day in my front yard as the first time I doubted myself…because my friends doubted.

That’s generally how life is. Kids start out thinking nothing is beyond reach…football superstar, homerun king, Broadway actor, being the best teacher or dentist ever. Then the world sneaks in. Friends make fun. Family says, “People like us don’t do those things.”

We don’t disagree. We wonder if they are right. We see “normal/mediocrity” all around us, and, eventually, we believe that is our destiny.

The handprint reminded me of a prodigal spirit of uniqueness.

So did the postcard I received in the mail yesterday. My cousin Kim sent it. Her brother Kerry was sitting beside someone at a summer picnic. It took me a few seconds to realize the person with Kerry is ME.

In a flash, the postcard and sweaty handprint snapped together like puzzle pieces.

I didn’t recognize myself.

I didn’t recognize myself.

Sheesh…what has happened???

Quite a bit, actually. In the last two years, I have changed careers, walked through cancer with one of my dearest friends, walked through triple bypass with my mom, and had a drawn-out situation that has tested everything I know about faith, trust, strength and patience.

I have been struggling lately. Lost my swag. Misplaced my MoJo.

Has that ever happened to you?

Please understand…you are no less unique than I am. Maybe you never entertained thoughts of being well-known. But there is something you dream about doing or accomplishing. There is a star you long to reach, even if no one else will ever know you reached it.

My star is labeled “Best-selling author/highly sought-after motivational speaker/philanthropist/Blessed to be a blessing.”

I have known it, literally, forever. Dreamed it. Practiced it.

And yesterday, I didn’t recognize myself. My overweight, MoJo-lacking, momentarily Swag-less self.

I have allowed circumstances to cloud my vision. Circumstances. How ridiculous is that?

You can answer. You’ve done it too, haven’t you?

You have neglected to embrace the uniqueness of the loops and swirls that belong to only you, that are never duplicated. Do you even recognize yourself anymore? Do you still see the star?

Yesterday, I didn’t. Today the Light broke through. My circumstances haven’t changed. My weight hasn’t dropped dramatically.

But in the sweaty handprint, I could see the ten year old practicing for interviews, the kid who always knew she was destined for a BRIGHT star.

All thanks to a really bad picture of me, and a really hot sauna, and the faithful God who made, and never loses sight of, the unique unrepeatable miracle He made in me.

And in you. Look at your hand. It’s all there, waiting for you to reach again for the star.

See you soon…BP 🙂