I love Ed Emberley’s thumbprint animals and characters. They hit the mark for playful and cute. They also remind me of something I lose sight of periodically…the idea that maybe the best we can hope for is to leave a little image, a small thumbprint on the people around us. I like to think of God’s love for me that way. His thumbprint is on my heart and remains there no matter what I do. He doesn’t smother me with His presence, He simply makes a lasting impression and leaves me to walk around with it for the rest of my life.
When I’m out in the world, hoping to make an impression, cause something to move forward, or motivate a direction, I sometimes try too hard. I end up with more of a hand slap then a thumbprint. It may leave an impression for a bit, but before long it will fade and the idea or the person or the project will move on without me. It’s worth noting that perhaps the best way to touch the life of another person is simply to be uniquely yourself, sharing all that is authentic and leaving a small thumbprint. Your thumbprint can’t be duplicated. No one else was designed just like you, so you have a chance to always leave a lasting impression.
All of us are in pursuit of love. Whether we’re single or married, living the high life or the low life, somewhere within us is a place that is unsettled. It may have found a restful spot in one relationship or another, one work, one direction, but it remains somewhat empty, waiting for something not quite defined. I think of that space as needing a new thumbprint, needing an impression that can remain and fill the mind and spirit with the same kind of magic that causes birds to sing in the sunshine or the rain. It provides a sense of knowing, uniquely positioned so that you thrive, ready to sing and discover and become all you were meant to become.
For me, it’s the answer to what you can do when it feels like the world is simply out to mug you. Look out! Here comes another barb, another slap out of nowhere, another moment to feel oppressed, depressed, and repressed. What can you do? It feels overwhelming, too big for you. It isn’t! Press On! Be impressed by the thumbprint of love that God has placed within you. See it in your family, your children, your friends, and even strangers who are willing to share their light with you. Hold up your candle, like the song says, and keep lighting the way. This thought awakens hope and possibility. This thought makes me want to place a Karen thumbprint on a page and make my own “Ed Emberley” drawing of me. Big smile, hopeful, happy feet…yes…ready to leave a little impression in big ways and small ways.
Thanks for my mentors and friends and beloved family everywhere. Today I say, “Thumbs UP” to you!