If you've seen me in the last few days, you'd have noticed I've got purple eyeshadow on my right eyelid. Okay...so not really. What I've got is a black eye. I'd like to tell you I got it fighting off bad guys with my cane, or throwing myself in front of an attack to protect my kids, or even blocking flying debris from hurting someone else. Unfortunately, it was not so heroic or exciting. It was simply the failure of my eyebrows.
I spent the last four days in Salt Lake City, Utah seeing my transplant team,hanging out with my guys, touring temple square and avoiding Halloween. A number of times, the unfamiliar territory and strange surroundings messed with my sense of direction and mobility. We were walking through City Creek Mall and I got disoriented by a rather overpoweringly pungent perfume shop. I almost ran into the lady in front of me, I was so distracted by the strange scent.
I was saved by my eyebrows brushing her coat. I exited the Traxx train to attend a soccer game with my kids and kept from smacking into the slowly opening doors, thanks to my eyebrows. There have been a few times when I have impacted something or someone, scarring my eyebrows but not hitting my face. Eyebrows are actually awesome protectors. You've probably never even noticed because its a subtle sensation and your eyes will "see" what you're about to hit before your eyebrows even have the chance. However, when you're in the dark, when you aren't using your sight, or when something gets in your way too quickly for your eyes to warn you...You've still got your eyebrows.
Then Why, you ask, did I come home this weekend with a black eye?
Simple...Somethings you go through. There's not supposed to be a warning.
This particular morning, I was getting in the shower. The glass door was open beside the bench where I was undressing. I lost my balance for a second when my feet got tangled in my pajama pants and I tipped to the side. The sharp pain to the side of my head was the only warning I got. If I could see stars I'm sure I would have. We iced the injury and it was swollen for a couple of days but other than the black eye, its hardly noticeable.
You must be wondering at this point, why the long diatribe about eyebrows when mine failed me on this occasion?
Most things in life have warnings if we pay attention. That greasy feeling in the pit of your stomach when you know you're in the wrong place. The feeling you pass of as nerves.
The twitter in your pulse when a certain person's face or voice comes to mind and you suddenly want to talk to them, but dismiss it as nothing.
The chill going down your spine when you're with the wrong people doing the wrong thing, but you don't want to look stupid.
Those are your spiritual eyebrows. The sensitive parts of your soul warning you you're about to smack your face against all kinds of ugly badness, or you need to be there for someone who already smacked into something and they need to know their not alone.
What, if anything, does this have to do with the black eye? My eyebrows couldn't help me when the threat came from off-sides.
Life happens. Our 'eyebrows' can only do so much good. Being protected from harm and danger can cripple a person who works to be stronger. A wise man once said: "Comfort retards growth. A seed would never become a tree if it lay comfortable beneath the soil and didn't reach for the sun."
Your spiritual eyebrows are there for a reason. To let you know God is watching over you and warning you whenever he can. God is also watching over you when your eyebrows can't help you and knowing he loves you through life's black eyes is the best kind of love.
I thank God my eyebrows have saved me from disaster and bloody injuries, but the truth is...
I still wind up hurt, scarred, and a whole lot stronger when the eyebrows didn't work.