Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Validated

from Google Images
Every trip to Charleston my mother and I made during and after her kidney transplant involved jockeying for a parking space at a land-locked medical facility. We would pull a ticket from the booth, the gate would rise, and the treasure hunt began. We always paid $3.50 to get out of the garage, but we also had to produce the ticket that had a validated stamp on the back.

I always laughed because in my mind we didn't need a stamped parking ticket to prove our business at the Medical University of South Carolina. After all, my mother had an extra organ, a tender scar, a new diet, and a bag full of new drugs that cost as much as the Louisiana Purchase. And it's true: those drugs expanded her territory to include a whole new frontier, life after kidney failure. That was proof enough for me. Did the guy in that booth really need to see the stamp on the back of that parking ticket? Trust me, we weren't secretly at the mall getting a pedicure.

But there is a need within each of us for validation. Gary Smalley wrote a whole book about it. And where we look for it can be a blessing or a curse. We're supposed to find our fulfillment and our justification in Christ.

But there's always that temptation to jockey for coveted validation elsewhere. Not too long ago, I gave myself permission to feel validated, and I thought I could cross that one off the list, but I find myself revisiting this issue today. I came across this from a man I esteem highly for his knowledge and teaching, after having studied The Truth Project, Dr. Del Tackett. It appears his reflections on Easter this year closely resembled my own, and I confess, it made me proud. I felt validated, but again, it didn't last long. Today, the day after I read Dr. Tackett's thoughts, I'm feeling challenged to realign my need for validation to the stamp that marks Easter itself: nails that pierced two hands and feet and spilled blood over the backside of my life.

Anything else is just a rubber stamp on a parking ticket.


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