She fell from the monkey bars. Her knees took a beating as they struck the ground. She screamed and she cried, and Cadee saw the whole thing. She dropped everything and ran to this injured Jamaican girl. Then, something spectacular happened.
Cadee jumped outside herself and she started to sing.
But Cadee doesn’t sing.
Still, it’s the only thing she figured might work to make this little girl feel better. And so she did.
This little girl stopped, mid-cry, and shouted at the top of her lungs, “WHITE PEOPLE SING!” Her surprise was surprising. It caught Cadee off guard and she replied, “I’m not white people, I’m Cadee.” Then, all the children started to chant, “CADEE! CADEE! CADEE!”
I love this story, but I have questions about it. Why did the little girl think white people didn’t sing? Why did the children burst into a chant screaming Cadee’s name? It all seems so odd.
Most of all, I’m wondering where this label came from? The one that put limits on Cadee. The one that said, “You don’t sing”.
And what is it about a little girl’s tears that has the power to rip that label off in an instant? And suddenly it’s ok to be uncomfortable, because somehow in our uncomfortability, she might find comfort.
I have a job that has an unwritten requirement. “Be Uncomfortable.” I have a passport that labels me a US Citizen, but I often have to leave the US. I am a worship leader, but I often have to speak and give messages. I find happiness in alone time, but I am often surrounded by people. I have to lead people in foreign countries, and I often doubt my ability to do that.
And it doesn’t stop there. This idea of being uncomfortable has become a part of me. And as odd as it sounds, I love it. During our God Sightings last week, someone said they saw God in our scrapes and bruises. She was talking about how hard everyone worked that day, and that work didn’t come without a cost. It took a toll on our bodies.
Finding peace in being uncomfortable requires seeing God in the scrapes and bruises. It means savoring the stretch.
It means singing when you don’t sing.
What would have been lost if Cadee had continued to let this label define her? If she hadn’t jumped at the opportunity to take this moment of pain and make it beautiful, and instead she let her fear control her and remained quiet.
What if she didn’t allow herself to become uncomfortable for the sake of this little girl?
Later in the week, Cadee said she had been searching, and she may have found a bit of herself on this trip. I think being surrounded by children she just met and having them chant her name out of pure joy will always be a reminder that at her core, she is extraordinary.
Here is something I have found to be true… Peeling away the labels that have come to define you takes time. It’s an uncomfortable process that can even be a bit painful. But you are a diamond in the rough.
We all are. There is hidden beauty inside of us that can only be reached when the muck has been scraped and polished off and we have been shaped into something new.
My prayer coming out of this week is that we would always be reminded of our significance… that we would remember that we aren’t ordinary, but we are extraordinary… because we are the beloved sons and daughters of God.