O. EM. ZHEE!
A five-year-old voice pierces the quiet murmur of morning, projecting itself across the classroom during before-school playtime.
That was AWESOME!
Matchbox cars are the rage right now. The track being assembled for them to race on is becoming vintage. It belonged to one of my adult sons when he was five. Curious about this strong reaction to the run of a small car down a plastic track with a jump at the end, OMG on my mind, I ask,
What does that mean? OMG?
His loud, clear voice answers, making sure I do not miss the response. I feel as if I am being lectured.
It means, ‘Oh, My Gosh’ or ‘Oh, My God.’
A seven-year-old sits at a nearby table, engrossed in the book he is reading. One ear, open to awareness and the conversation around him, keeps him in tune with what is going on with the others in the room. His selective hearing is stunning, actually. He speaks up in his own loud, clear, lecturing voice,
PLEASE, don’t say the second thing you said, because it’s taking the Lord’s name.
I meant ‘Oh, My Gosh.’
These boys are brothers. The exchange took all of a minute. It was that quick. I grabbed a sticky note from my desk to jot it down. I thought back to my own daughter who recently expressed frustration of her own at the use of the Lord’s name.
It’s so annoying the way people at school will say OMG but not the letters and using God. I mean, I know they’re not Christians, but it’s still hard.
I ponder taking the Lord’s name, my own OMG’s and what brings them. Recently, it was in my journal while processing my 18-year-old son’s return from a four-month Walkabout in the Eastern Hemisphere, with only his passport and backpack.
I OMG in texts when there is a strong and surprising connection with another. What is my motive? Am I taking the Lord’s name? How am I taking it? Is He my God? Who or what is my God?
My God is shocking, surprising, close at hand.
Oh, God. My God. Oh, My God.
There are OMG moments of shock. How will we make it? My God, why have you forsaken me? Oh, my God, how will we go on?
There are OMG moments of surprise, finding you and a new heart-friend were giving birth on the same day in ‘98 to baby boys, as you co-labor to birth more of your own stories together. OMG! Your son was born in ‘98, too? What day? Then the tears flow, because of a surprising God who misses no details of what we need. Connection.
I have taken the Lord’s name in vain while sitting in church, my ducks in a row, appearing to be righteous. I have cried out from the deep, sacred space when three letters were all I could utter, OMG. How can this be?
Recently, I have found my God close at hand. He has revealed himself to me through a continual series of OMG moments that I have yet to process. It has been a kind season. It has been a space of seeing and being seen. Just when I think there could not be any more goodness left for me, more pours out.
In these moments, when OMG is about all I can offer, I am learning to sit and to settle and to receive the goodness that is my God. I believe. Help my unbelief.
Julie McClay lives in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley with her high school sweetheart (and husband of 24 years) and 5 of their 8 children. She is learning that while it can be painful to face the past honestly while living in the moment and looking towards the future, it can be healing and lead to the hope of a brighter future. She digs through these thoughts and feelings here.