Apparently, I have an affinity for bricks. The term, “hit me like a ton of bricks” seems to find it’s way into everyday conversation quite frequently. I’m not exactly sure why bricks mean much to me. Nor when I would even have been faced with a ton of them in real life. However, figuratively…I have been hit by a ton of bricks. I did literally run headlong into a brick wall, not once but twice.
I was five years old and had been in kindergarten all of a couple of months. It was the day of our school Halloween party. Back nearly 40 years ago, public school parties where I grew up involved costumes, games, and food…lots of food. My Dad took Halloween as a challenge to make the scariest costume. Back in those days, there were no guidelines as to how careful we should be not to scare the other children. I think common sense should have prevailed, but alas, you’ll learn that was not commonplace in my childhood home.
So, here I was a five year old little girl dressed up in the scariest possible witch costume Dad could create. I don’t remember much other than him making me wear this horrible smelling, hideous green, rubber mask. I could barely see out of the eyes, and I remember the witch’s nose was long, and had a grotesque grey wart piled atop for all the world to see. He then hung a skeleton from a string and made it my necklace. I wore Mom’s old knee high patent leather boots, and a long black skirt. Just looking at myself in the mirror made me cringe. Then, he sent me in to school. Dad was certain I would win the costume contest. Instead, when I saw my best friend at the time…whose name I cannot recall, the screaming an
d crying began. I remember that she was dressed as the adorable cowardly lion. I was the Wicked Witch of the West. That poor little lion girl screamed, cried and went running as fast as her little legs would carry her into the arms of her waiting mother. She took a running leap into her mother’s arms, terrified of the person who was supposed to be her then best friend. I was sent to the restroom to take off my costume. As I tried to navigate my heartbroken five year old frame among desks, stunned students and parents,
I ran smack dab into the brick wall the divided our restrooms from the classroom area.
I don’t remember anything after that. As I said, it has been nearly forty years. I would meet that kindergarten brick wall head on again later in the school year when our teacher left a room full of crazy five year olds unattended. A goose egg on my forehead was acquired during our second interaction. As I look back, I thought that my brick wall collisions would have ended. They did in the literal form. Once you hit a brick wall…twice, you make it a point to be much more careful in your navigation of spaces. However, there were many brick wall collisions to come figurative form. They have followed me, and weighted me down for nearly my entire life. The only way to get rid of the figurative brick wall would be Jesus. If only I had known so many years ago what I see so clearly now. Jesus would be the only possible savior in my life. The only true Father I would ever have. He was and is the only way that I can live this crazy life. Yet, if I had seen it then, my life would have been very different. I had had seen it then, I wouldn’t have the testimony of God’s grace, mercy, and faithfulness. If my Heavenly Father had kept me from the wilderness, I would never have been able to give God the glory that I do now. Are you ready for the most valuable brick wall experience?