Sunday, March 1, 2009
Blue, that was the problem. Janie's shoes pinched her feet because they had no blue on them. If you are going to have a favorite color there is no sense in being half devoted to it. The running shoes had to be BLUE.
I showed her the entry form for the St. Paddie's Day Five. Her eyes got big. The race included a 300 m kids run! Janie squinched up her nose, raised both shoulders. Hooray! Her 1.2 miles an hour on the treadmill were going to pay off.
Then, there they were sky blue and soft like the leather of an old purse. The shoes practically climbed off the shelf and onto her feet. Laced up like a sigh cradling her foot, they were the slipper kind of the running shoe. Once conceived baby blue permanently adhered to the memory.
This is why at half past five on a Tuesday night we scrapped plans for dinner and headed across town to the shoe store. In our love affair with baby blue I had purchased the wrong size!
This is also why I was performing radio theater David and Goliath for the um-teenth time. We are always telling, acting, becoming stories as we go places.
"And he said, 'GOLIATH, you come at me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come at you in the name of the LORD God of the angel armies,' and he put one of the smooth stones in his sling and he began to RUN toward Goliath." I'm pumping my arms, pump-pump-pump, "RUN."
Jack interjects his usual, "Don't scream momma."
"I won't scream. And he's running, RUNNING TOWARD Goliath." I can just picture it, he's wearing baby blue shepherd sneakers and sprinting over the dusty ground, puff, puff, puff. "He's whirling his sling and...SWISH...the stone explodes out straight for Goliath, POW!" I slam my hand down on the console, a couple of receipts and a pencil fall between the seats, "POW, RIGHT between the eyes." I'm pointing to my forehead now. No one says a word. I hear them breathing in the back seat. "Goliath is DEAD."
Craig turns left into the parking garage. "The moral of the story is," I whisper, "if God asks you to do something HARD you should always do it," I pause, "even if it means fighting a giant or doing something dangerous because God will take care of you."
A click-click of the blinker and we're almost parked. I sigh into the quiet eddie left behind by our story. Jane stares at her reflection in the window, "I would be like David," she says. "I would just do it anyway even if it meant I would die because I have Jesus living in my heart. I would just real quick say, 'Jesus, will you live in my heart?' and then I would do it." And all at once the blue shoes are so abundantly frivolous and yet precisely right.