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2.18.2010

An Awkward Lesson

Have you ever felt totally awkward? Sigh. I sure have.  But as I get older, ahem, gain wisdom, this occurs less and less.  I've always said that I'd be an eccentric old lady.  Perhaps it's happening sooner than anticipated (not the old lady part!  The eccentric part.)  Awkwardness doesn't embarrass me as much. 

Recently, I shared the following story with my mother.  It was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life, though it was painful and I felt so very, very awkward.

Our singles group was hosting a dinner for the seniors of our church, and we had to choose an area of involvement.  I'd been a waitress for several years, so I signed up to serve food.  On the day of the event, I wore comfortable shoes, plain black pants and a long-sleeved shirt.  I put on an over-sized chef's apron over my outfit for fun.  I was shocked when I arrived at the church to find that everyone else had dressed up for the event!  Dresses.  High heels.  Ties.  Their Sunday best.  The other girls snickered at my outfit, though one friend tried to console me as I shared my dismay and embarrassment.  We were there to prepare and serve food.  How did I not know that we were supposed to dress up???  Wiping away my tears, I took a deep breath and joined everyone else preparing to bring the food out.  

Then an amazing thing happened.  The seniors thanked me with warm smiles as I gave them their plates.  Many of the seniors further expressed their appreciation by saying, "You look like you came here to serve."  I was asked to sit with them during the special program, sparing me from having to do clean-up!  My goofy apron and simple clothing set me apart, first to ridicule then giving me tremendous favor.  The sting of being laughed at faded eventually, but I experienced a long-lasting lesson about humility.

I wish I could say that it was the last painfully awkward experience I've had...NOPE!  But God has used those situations more than anything else to teach me.  And those lessons really stick. 

2 comments:

Faith Imagined said...

It is amazing how many people we bless when God puts us in awkward situations! Awesome story!

One Christian Mom said...

Bless you for keeping on when the going was akward (I know my spelling is off today.) I know it would have been easier just to walk away, but you stuck it through and were rewarded for it. Humility and Godliness seem to go hand in hand. Thank you for sharing :)
Shellie