Don't Mess with Bess
She signed on the dotted line. My dearest Bessie has hit the road of stardom. Yes, you heard it. She made it big before she went bust.
And don't think she doesn't enjoy spinning her wheels on the red carpet. She's a natural under the spotlight and her simple wish to bring you along has come through. Yesterday, as a matter of fact.
Take 1: Bessie would tell you that it is far more important to be clean on the inside than on the outside, so you'll have to excuse the fact that she hasn't showered in years. She looked, however, positively stunning! She glistened in the lime light, with the natural beams from the sun stroking every inch of her now-famed, star-struck appearance.
Her steady pose unabashedly advertised pride and perseverance, with a heavenly dose of down-to-earth practicality. She didn't blink and she didn't budge. She boldly, beautifully stood for one and for all, while her presence proudly proclaimed: "Don't mess with Bess."
And they drew dangerously close to her, to catch a glimpse of what made her run, to find the fuel that flooded her veins. She soaked it in, you know, quite like a drowsy, fat cat melting in the cozy warmth of a sun-kissed windowsill.
Take 2: Bessie would tell you that in this world, nothing matters so much as people and the relationships on which they are sustained. You can run far and wide hunting for beautiful attire, fancy jewelry, complex novelties, and fountains of youth. And this would be an utter and total waste of time and energy. Just ask her. She ought to know.
She has been dented, dinged, bumped, and battered. She has hauled a piglet and a pup and more recently welcomed a stray field mouse into the haven of her cushy interior. She has swallowed a loveseat, hay bales, and an unprecedented number of bags of mulch. She has sped up and she has slowed down. She has raced and she has limped along. She has been stranded, been towed. She even participated in a high-speed chase in the Kroger parking lot one moonlit midnight with one dastardly fan-fared, drive-by waving recipient hot on her tail.
Once she nearly lost an appendage in a ferocious wind storm, but on another day she withstood hail while my children prayed. And most often she has given herself up in monotonous service on behalf of those she loves. One mile at a time. In losing outward beauty she gained depth of character. In forfeiting fancy jewels she donned a crown of rejoicing. In dismissing novelties, she discovered the sacredness of restoration. And in relinquishing the quest for fountains of youth, she found eternal life.
Take 3: Bessie tried to explain that relationship is everything. She views everything from Star-studded glasses, all right. Her Biblical worldview starts with the creative relationship of the Holy Trinity to the divine relationship between the Father and Son and ends with the relationship we can have with Christ Himself through the Spirit.
CUT: In simple terms: A car is only a car. But the people who logged over 303,000 miles riding inside her, now, that is what matters. The laughter, the tears, the hollering, the spills. The music, the misery, the bliss, what memories. The height, the depth, the width, the length... of Love.
Dear Reader, don't miss it.
"What will you say when she quits running?"
Why don't I tell you about my Grandmother. She and Bessie have much in common. Grandma ran the race to win. She was a sojourner who suffered unimaginable loss and heartache. I can still hear her voice in my mind, her sweet laughter. We rode in her heart for untold miles over 93 years.
Once while heading to church, I was talking to Grandma on my cell phone, you know, about assorted country charms and southern intrigues such as trapping fourteen squirrels in my backyard and baking cookies with corn starch.
Bessie, however, was more than put out because she hadn't taken a drink across three, yes three, county lines! She was emptier than empty, beginning to sputter a bit, feeling quite neglected. As our conversation turned toward Bessie's despair and finally as Bessie feverishly coasted into the watering hole, Grandma said with a delighted grin I could hear tickling her voice, "Bessie made it! She's a tough old goat, she is. Never gives up. Why, I'd say she'll run forever...."
And that's a wrap.
“The world and its desires pass away,
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