April 4, 2009 conscience
Like a lucky penny, polished to an orange-copper sheen by the constancy of rubbing, I carry my conscience with me. Even when I would rather lose it, when the weight of my humanness sinks completely to the bottoms of my feet and my few but blessed good habits fall like unzipped trousers around my ankles, my conscience is still there. It was planted years ago, like a micro-chip under the skin, and I imagine my best angel (BA) keeping tabs on me through it. I sometimes think it is more like a walkie talkie though, with BA manning the base unit. Our conversation goes something like this:
"Human Girl (HG), this is BA making initial contact. Are you alert as you drive? Over."
"Copy that, Good Buddy. Just ate three Swedish Fish, one chunk of beef jerky and drank a 12 oz Diet Pepsi. Should get me to downtown Farmington. Over."
I lose consciousness of any caloric content when I am driving. It is a matter of life and death and that situation makes indulging a necessity. I believe I have something like 50 pounds of stay awake on me.
I'm driving along and decide to enter Kohls Department Store, armed with a 30% off coupon. A voice enters my brain:
"HG, careful now. Remember how crowded the perimeter of your bedroom is getting. You already have 12 wedding gifts stashed there, and three boxes of clothes, not to mention the after-Christmas sale items you have not yet found a place for. Over."
"Uh, thanks for the reminder. Really. I needed that. Over."
So I continue, weaving through the aisles of the store like the grid on a schematic. I find my Kohls cart has two books, one pair of shoes, a picture frame on Clearance, of course, and a pair of size 8 pajamas. I notice a little static in my left ear, then a bit of a shout:
"Excuse me HG, who in your circle of love wears size 8 pajamas? Are you sure you need those? I repeat...are you sure you need those? Over."
"Oh my Heck, BA (this equates to swearing at an angel). Can't you see these are SPIDERMAN pajamas? On SALE! Timothy is already into a size 5 and he will be so happy in three years to find these in the drawer when he visits! O-VER!"
Now here's the thing about consciences. They are relentless. They have that same gene Heavenly Father has; the one that makes it possible for Him to watch us suffer, to observe our idiotic actions and thoughts and still love us. It's that little thing in their make-up that sees the big picture that we, little centipedes that we are, only see from the surface of the mosaic. It is the same amazing gift that allowed an all powerful God to watch His Son suffer unmentionable grief and not interfere. I cannot fathom it as a part of my potential, though I know it is. I got to practice that behavior on my kids. Now, as a grandmother, a crying child rips my heart out of my chest and causes me to leave my place in the grocery line to see who needs rescue. So I guess it’s a good thing I have a relentless conscience or I would be a 100% wimp instead of only a 98.9% wimp!
I put the pajamas back on the rack, even though they are on sale for $7 PLUS that additional 30% off. In fact, as a comment to the angel, which is a comment to myself I guess, I actually leave the whole dang cart with all my finds in it right there by the doors to the store. Walk out. Walk right on out and leave the mess for some poor clerk to return to the racks.
"Satisfied?" I huff as I exit, but by the time I start the car I feel a sort of relief that has a little radiant edge like the one that glows around euphoria.
"K. Me too, I guess. Over."