The Glory of God


Megan Smillie // Tales From the Trenches

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November 21  

It’s insanely early. Nursing my cup of coffee, I pick my way across the gym to the stands. It’s the first tournament, and I’m eager to see how well my daughter’s volleyball team will place this year. They are pretty good, and have gotten even better the past few years. It should be a good season. My hair is pulled back in a half-hearted ponytail that is already falling out. My rumpled shirt betrays the fact that I may have worn it to bed the previous night. And I chuckle as one of the dads calls out a boisterous “Good morning sunshine!” as I make my way. I feel at home here in the stands watching my child play her sport, and the warmth goes deeper than any over-sugared lukewarm coffee ever could.

The opposing team runs in. All extremely tall, muscular, and blonde; they look alike to me somehow. It’s hard for me to distinguish between them. I realize it’s because I don’t know them personally, but I can’t help but see the unique stature and look of our girls whom I have come to love. Their varied appearance displays personality, strength and resolve, with a certain hope sparkling their eyes.

I especially notice my daughter, whose hair allows for no carbon copies. Long, thick, brown-golden curls, she has it yanked back and her brow is furrowed in concentration. She is not concerned with her looks right now, and somehow that makes her all the more beautiful. She doesn’t realize how the morning light is playing off her face and curls, doesn’t see how athletic and daunting she looks. I’ve always called her a warrior princess, and this morning she embodies it.

I look around at the parents, especially the moms. All beautiful in their own right. I know them, their lives, kids, and families. I’ve taught quite a few of their children, who are also uniquely wonderful. Every single one of us is. No carbon copies. All God’s glory. Our path, our vocation. Our stories. My teeth that never fully corrected all the way . . . my somewhat wild and wavy hair, the wrinkles that abound. My gal who refuses to wear anything but sneakers, or her sister who never leaves the house without earrings on. The way we take our coffee (over-sugared and lukewarm? Lol), or peel an orange, or cut sandwiches. Our “go-to” dinners that will forever transport our kids back to their childhood. This makes us all unique and infinitely lovable. And it is not something we have planned out ourselves. I daresay there may be some aspects of our personalities and physical features that we would like to see changed, but that is not God’s way. No carbon copies, all uniquely his.

Our girls won that tournament and went on to have a fabulous season. All of this, this tournament, that dinner, my meager life, is for God’s Glory, which each of us portrays uniquely for all the world to see.

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory (Ps 149:4).

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