Uh-oh! My Red Lipstick Got on Your Red Cup

It’s raining, flooding actually. I’ve been known to hydroplane even in my tennis shoes with all the rain we’ve received. And I thought one could only hydroplane in a car. What did I know?

And I just dropped my oldest off at her volunteer job. I’ve got one other young lady who just hopped up front with me. And it’s turned cold. We push those seat-warmer buttons.

“Do you want to get a latte?” I ask, smiling.

Her smile greets mine. “Yeah.”

“Do you want to try the peppermint mocha?” 

“Yeah.” She’ll try anything. Any flavor, any color. She’s brave. I’m not. I stick to the same ol’, same ol’.

“One white chocolate mocha and one peppermint mocha, please.”

Just what we needed to warm our insides.

“Can I try your peppermint?” I ask.

“Sure.” She’s so giving. I’m surprised she didn’t ask me first.

“Oh, that’s a bit too minty for me.” I can’t believe I hear myself say that. I love mint. My young lady wipes my red lipstick off her cup. Now, I know quite possibly why she didn’t ask.

“I’m sorry,” I say. “I didn’t mean to get my lipstick on your cup.”

O Soul Within, I know you didn’t mean to infringe. Sometimes people don’t want your blood spilled on them. 

Back up. Hands off. Let them clean it off. Don’t touch their cup again. Unless you are invited.

It’s probably tempting to think it’s because they’re so white and clean. And clearly, you’re not. Never have been, never will be. Or maybe, quite possibly, there has been miscommunication, and they think you’re so white and clean, or claim to be.

Oh, don’t take offense, O Soul Within. 

Sometimes people don’t want to jump on your bandwagon. Because they have their own bandwagon. Maybe they’re comfortable with theirs. And maybe they’re not quite ready to shift. And sometimes folks ride stealth bandwagons–invisible to you and sometimes themselves.

And sometimes blood carries germs and diseases, and people have enough of their own germs and diseases … and they don’t need yours. Stop trying to share.

And well, sometimes people just need to warm up to you.

And don’t lose hope. Because O Soul Within, there are people who have your blood type. With your very same germs. They are just like you, and they don’t mind your blood spilled on them. Not one bit. Or maybe they like studying your type–the work in progress that you are. And they’ll open their very hearts to fit yours in. Come alongside you. They’ll join your bandwagon or motion for you to jump on theirs. What a hayride!

And don’t lose focus. O Soul Within, let it be a lesson to you. Don’t worry about spilled blood. Don’t worry about germs. Ditch the Germ-X. Let them pour down over you. 

Be brave. 

Don’t stick to the same ol’, same ol’. Ride out of your comfort zone. Hydroplane into others’ lives. Because you were made for community, for fellowship, to share one another’s burdens. Why, if you worried about that, you’d have missed out on the Lamb of God, the ultimate offering … 

the One who took the cup upon Himself, who spilled His blood, letting it trickle down on you …

so that you could be new …

so that you could be clean.


Have you ever expected others to understand your situation and felt disappointed when they didn’t? Or have you ever been afraid of someone different from you? Maybe someone suffering differently than you? Maybe you didn’t know how to help or quite what to say, so you turned the other way? How can we love others when we struggle with fear? Any advice?

10 thoughts on “Uh-oh! My Red Lipstick Got on Your Red Cup

  1. Such a poignant post, Shelli. Yes, I've been afraid of those different from me, and of those suffering differently from me. Sometimes, the key is to look beyond my own discomfort and extend friendship, or at least a kind word. In stepping out of ourselves and showing up for another, I believe we bless God and the person we reach out to.

    Is it easy? NO. But, each time I've been brave enough to step beyond my fear, God's given me surprise blessings. 🙂


  2. Jeanne, that's so sweet. And isn't it wonderful when those see our fear and ease our pain? Maybe make a joke or tease or something to help you know it's all okay. To help you know they just want your love and friendship, and you can't go wrong. That's how I want to be. Don't worry about stepping on my toes … I love you.


  3. Shelli, thank you for this. I experienced a bit of both last week. I stepped closer to someone I felt God nudging me to, and we were both blessed abundantly. Now we're praying for each others families. But I also experienced the pain of someone else backing away (someone who had approached me first). It didn't hurt for long because I know the thing which turned that person away is the same thing God used to pull me in close to Him. My Father's arms continue to embrace all of me.
    Blessings, sweet friend ~ Wendy


  4. Needed words, Shelli. Having been taken advantage of and needed for the wrong reasons in the past, I'm often too cautious to approach someone who's hurting. Have to keep reminding myself that it's not about MY sensitive feelings–it's about offering grace and encouragement and leaving the outcome to God.


  5. It seems that stepping out of my comfort zone and reaching out has worked best when God just naturally had me fall into the lives of people who either helped me or needed my help. I have a passion for broken people but I've learned that not all broken people, (including myself) are always prepared to process the encouragement we offer.


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