Your First Aid Kit For Surviving Embarrassment

I wasn’t kind.  In a knee-jerk flash, the words had spilled from my mouth.  To bring them back was impossible.  I scurried and scrambled in my failings to fix what I’d fractured.  I confessed that I was worried I had embarrassed the person I spoke so carelessly to, but what’s truer is that I had embarrassed myself.  And I didn’t know how to repair it.

Have you ever been there?

I think it would be fair to say I’ve spent most of my life troubleshooting the wounds of embarrassment.

Take today, for instance.  I was putting in an order for one of my co-workers, and I literally had to ask her what her name was.  My system’s memory- or lack of it- was mine.  There was no way around it.  I had to say out loud that I didn’t remember the name of this person.  This is someone with whom I’ve shared pizza, or more accurately a nice person that’s given of her own pizza to my benefit.  She’s made a mostly happy routine of offering up polite exchanges throughout the day.  I’ve even journaled over one of our charming chats.  This someone is most certainly a someone I should have known by the group of letters she uses to identify herself.

Can I just crawl into a hole and hibernate until the rapture please?  Good Lord, have mercy!  Have you ever just wanted to hide?

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At least that’s an honest mistake.  You can most likely identify with that.  But the kind of embarrassing that comes from when I haven’t been kind?  That’s different.

The truth is I didn’t mean to be unkind.  And I should probably cut myself some slack.  It’s not the first, and won’t likely be the last time, that I mess up and need some serious grace.  The good news is, God has plenty.

If I choose to see things from that viewpoint, I can assess that the reason it bothers me is because I do care about this person.  That’s not such a bad place to start from.  It’s all about the position I take toward this person and toward God.  It’s my giving God the space to meet me there, where I need Him.  Conviction is a beautiful thing.  It means God is moving and stirring.

I can live with that.  The situation itself becomes a messenger from God that reminds me there’s hope for me yet.  He’s not finished with me.

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Sometimes I want to hibernate until He is finished, but I’m starting to realize that’s when I miss out.  God wants me to see Him show up.  He’s a redeemer, and it’s me He’s redeeming.  He’s given me a front row seat to watch Him work and see how it’s done.  From the inside out.  All I have to do is show up for the process and stay present.

While He does the work.

He’s not finished with me.  Praise God!  I take comfort in that.

Can I tell you a secret, my friend?  If you’re still breathing air, there’s hope for you too.  His work isn’t through.  And that’s very good news!

It’s safe to come out now.  You don’t want to miss what He’s doing next.

In you.

“Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name.”  Psalm 74:21