Allergies: The Mean Girls of Life
Spring has always been a much anticipated time of the year for me. Crocuses are the first to make their brave appearance, flirting with the last snow fall to announce that spring is coming. Close behind come the daffodils and then the flowering cherry trees. To make this time of year even more magical, the last day of winter often coincides with my birthday. Yes, this is a fun time of the year as well as a beautiful one.
Then one day, as I gazed with rapture at the beautiful pink blossoms of a tree, my right eye started to itch. I pulled out my pocket mirror and searched for a stray eyelash but saw nothing. For the next hour or so, I alternately rubbed my eye and then tried to leave it alone. Soon I felt a scratch deep in my throat followed by a sensation I expect one would experience if they’d swallowed a handful of tacks. Before long I was sneezing, my nose was running and to add insult to injury, my voice had left me.
Allergies are like the mean girl who ruins everything with a backhanded compliment. You know the girl at school (or work, or church) who couldn’t let you have your moment. She had to wreck every good thing by pointing out at least one flaw – no matter how miniscule – to deflate you. When you finally got new, beautiful, wonderful boots, she’d say, “I like your boots.” Then she’d toss her head as she winked at her followers. “I had a pair like that year before last, but I gave them to the thrift store when the new styles came out.” After you sang in the talent show, she’d loudly gush, “I love the song you sang. You have just the right amount of nasal in your voice to pull off country.” Worst of all, she’d take pot shots at your appearance. “Your lunch smells delicious, but I’d never eat that; I don’t want to get fat or have acne.”
Allergies are the same way. Spring shouts, “Isn’t it nice that sunny days and warmer weather have finally arrived?”
Allergies answer, “Here let me make your head feel like a garbage can so you won’t be able to enjoy spring at all.”
Ignoring mean girls is about as easy as ignoring the symptoms of allergies. All of the “sticks and stones” phrases are about as helpful as a cough drop when your head feels like it’s going to explode from sinus pressure.
Fortunately, we don’t have to base our worth on the statements of others. Scripture tells us of the great value God places on each one of us. In Luke Jesus talks about how God remembers even the seemingly worthless little birds, and they are nothing compared to how He loves us. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7
I don’t have a lot of great advice for allergy season, but I do have a little bit of counsel for when the mean girls in life hurt you. God doesn’t care whether or not you are dressed in the latest fashion or if you have the smoothest voice, tiniest figure or flawless skin. He cares about whether you are the mean girl or the nice girl.
Remember to be kind for the world doesn’t need another mean girl. Just as spring breathes new hope into us; so does the uniqueness of a kind word.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32