When I was thirteen I went to a junior high school dance. This event was a big deal: It was HALLOWEEN.
For the Shaw Family, Halloween is no small occasion. Much to my mum's chagrin her kids never were simpletons when it came to dressing up. This particular year, I decided I would be Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Now the dress itself I found in my closet, but the shoes... The glitter shoes at the Paylesses of the world would simply not do, the shoes must be the creme de la resistance!
Thus, we gathered glue and sequins from the local craft store, pulled out my old pair of tap shoes, and the journey of 1000 sequins began. One by one by one....day by day after school I plopped myself on the couch and the glitter party began.
And eventually, after much perseverance and persistence, they were finished!
I braided my hair, put on my dress, applied a smidge of rouge and lipstick, and stepped into my sparkling delights.
I met up with my friends at Lakeview Junior High and we danced the night away. With every roger rabbit and running man (: little by little the glittering wonders began to fall, one by one by one....
The dance ended and the ruby slippers were no more.
But what a great memory and, oh, how I loved those ruby slippers. Then it hit me....as the dress came off and the make-up was wiped away... there were no pictures!? No memento to capture the journey of the slippers.
Halloweens came and went. Year after year, I found other fun characters to play dress up in. But....but there was something about those slippers...
I think little by little throughout my adolescent and young adult years I tried to reapply those sequins in vain. Sparkling parts of myself that felt like they'd fallen off or my circumstances seemed to tell me they had. Not sure when, or how, or why exactly only that something lost its glimmer along the way.
But I'm realizing more and more the parts I thought were the most sparkling parts about me were a false luster. Artificial. The closer you got the faker you saw it was. So I'd keep you at a distance so you wouldn't see what I saw deep down.
But here's the thing, once the sequins fall (and oh how they have fallen), all you see is what's bare, underneath. And that's when the magic begins to happen.
So, this year when Halloween neared the slippers beckoned.
Only this time, the young girl who for years only wanted to be pretty characters felt permission to be ugly, wonderfully wicked, and have some fun.
The magic of restoration, reconstruction, redemption. That little by little, in the everyday moments of my life, there are possibilities. The small and not so small things are being transformed with the hope of redemption. That I get to participate in a life that doesn't settle for the artificial but trusts that the good and genuine can happen, is happening, even when the sparkle feels like its lost her luster.
God is good and He is the creator of all good things. I don't need to offer just a pretty package anymore. The magic of the slippers is that I come just as I am, bare, and the One whom I've given the ugly parts of myself to readorns.
He, little by little, day by day, is sealing on me a glory and splendor not of this world. A sheen, like the slippers, that glimmers and shines pointing others to the way home.