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Girl Meets God

    by Melissa Mathews

The Dimple of My Bad Days
Date Posted: April 30, 2006

As I looked across the table at my oldest son Max, he put a smile on his red-freckled face. It was Friday evening. I had had the worst day of school on record and wasn't about to cook, so we were on the patio of a Mexican restaurant along the banks of the Sacramento River.

I don't remember what we were talking about, but something had made Max smile. And when he did, I couldn't help but notice the dimple high on his left check. When he laughs it gets deep, then it blends back in with the reddish-brown spots that make him look like my child.

He only has the one dimple, because it came about through non-genetic means. When he was about 2 ½ (I think) he was climbing on a chair (which he shouldn't have been doing) in the foyer of our 1892 Victoria house in Carthage, Missouri. After he scaled the chair, he reached up to mess with a shelf (which he shouldn't have been doing) on the wall. The shelf was made for displaying tea cups, and had a row of inch-round hooks on it. Fortunately, there were no teacups on the shelf, only dried flowers, so there was no shattering of glass when Max finally managed to pull the shelf from the wall. (Where was his mother!?!)

The decoration crashed to the ground, and so did Max. As they fell, Max's mouth mysteriously became entangled with a teacup hook. The clattering brought his mother (finally) running. The hook had pierced the inside of his check, but had stopped just short of breaking the skin.

And thus, the sweet dimple on Max's face had been born from adversity.

I looked at him, and thought of all the bad things that end up making us look better--Like the two years I ran the spotlight in a group for which I really wanted to sing, but the result was a humility I hadn't had before. Or maybe it's working when I really didn't want to. But now, I have a chance to share the love of God with people I would have otherwise never known.

What's the difficulty in your life that God has used or is using to make you more beautiful? Paul writes in Hebrews:12:7-11: "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons (or daughters). For what son is not disciplined by his father?... God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

So, go ahead and laugh at the bad days. I want to see your dimple.

"Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life" from Tom Kelley

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Biography Information:
I'm a preacher's kid, pastor's wife, and southern belle who married a Southern California boy. Can you say 'culture clash?' Scott and I have four boys - Max, Mark, Jackson, and Grant who keep us busy with homework and sports.

Scott and I have been married 22 years and currently live in Northern California where we are beginning year five as church planters. I also teach 12th grade English and love it.

I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime at
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