Foil (noun, in literature):
someone or something that serves as a contrast to another <acted as a foil for a comedian>
Her character in the play accentuated how the main character was loving and good and honest. She had similar qualities, as the main character’s best friend. She possessed the main character’s virtues, not shining as gloriously but shining quietly. Hers were nothing compared to the virtues of the main character, paling in comparison to the latter’s beauty and strength of character.
A few weeks prior to June 2015, a year ago (in case you don’t wanna do the math), I had just started to ask the Lord specifically for this specific guy.
I prayed to the Lord a lot about me, too.
“Lord, why? Why is it that every time that I really, really like a particular guy, I never get him? Instead I am always foil when it matters. I am always considered, sure, but never chosen. So many other guys have liked me through the years, and I don’t even really care about them, but every time I actually really like someone, I am that someone’s almost choice, always to fall second place to a better girl. Lord, I wish that just for once, I could be my first choice’s first choice.”
I pondered on that for a few days. My friend Sheena (not her real name) told me how a lot of times, God doesn’t give her what she wants to teach us that His ways are not our own and that He knows our needs better. It felt to me like she was saying how maybe I would never get what I want. Never?
I wish I could say I accepted what Sheena said, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t accept that God would never give me anything I wanted just to teach me a lesson. I mean, I could accept that He wouldn’t give me what I want once, sure, to teach me. But the things that really mattered to me, repeatedly? I don’t know.
I wanted so desperately to forget about that guy and just move on. There were so many other guys around me that I was sure wouldn’t be so…blind. And it had been so easy for me before this to just forget guys who didn’t show some sort of interest. But for some strange reason, I could not move on from this guy. So I thought, Hmm. This guy must be some sort of desire of mine that God’s showing me is not aligned with His. That sort of desire that I needed to acknowledge and to surrender to Him.
I then started to ask the Lord to change me. And while I waited for Him to do so (which I thought would mean that God would help me forget about him eventually because I so obviously thought that this desire was against God’s), I continued to pray for the guy, asking that the Lord would bless him with His best in everything.
Let’s just wrap up that little story by saying that God didn’t desire that I forget about that guy.
One year later, I had all but forgotten about foils and main characters. But I had been chatting with one of my girlfriends from overseas about overcoming sin in life and surrendering to God everything that’s left of us.
The whole night I had been challenging everything that she thought she knew about God and confirming within Scripture a few principles she was wondering about.
I was telling her how no one can be so high and righteous and faithful enough to God for us to have the right to condemn other people, but that we are all in the same boat and so should act with love. I told her that God makes a masterpiece even out of a person who has become nothing more than scraps and pieces of nothing of value. Scraps, just like me, and just like her. Just like everyone.
She then told me, “I want to surrender, Dree.”
(Yes. For the first time I have finally intentionally put my real nickname on my blog. Yay!)
“But? Is there a ‘but’?” I asked her.
“No. I really want to. (I’ve really wanted to,) since Sunday,” she told me.
“So why don’t you?” I urged her.
“I am weak.”
Plain and simple and honest was her answer. The answer of a person extremely tired. And that’s not at all a bad thing, because the desperate are no choosers for salvation.
“We are both weak,” I comforted her. “And only when we finally see our weakness will we understand how His strength is sufficient for us. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.”
I suddenly had a realization.
“It’s the principle of the foil,” I explained to her and to myself for the first time. “Without the weakness of the foil, you cannot see the strength of the main character.
“And we are not the main character. We are here to be foil for God. We are here to show our weakness to the world, that God would be glorified in all His strength.”
She didn’t message me back straightaway, and I started to be worried that this might have been lost on her.
But then she did send me one soon, after a few minutes. Oh, impatient me!
She said, “Imagine BH Street and people walking by and luxurious stores around, and me on a long marble seat and looking up to the sky crying. Drama, but the sky is so clear.”
I praised God in my heart and blessed the Lord with all my soul. God spoke to her, yes, but God also spoke to me, and through this conversation alone I had already been so blessed in remembering what God had saved me from and how He has been so good to me.
I tried to explain to her my feelings that I thought she might share, which I experienced only when I finally understood that God’s forgiveness meant that He no longer held anything against me, and so should I not:
“The skies will be clearer, the clouds will be puffier, and the sun is beautiful.”
The Son is beautiful.