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How Embarrassing!

Is grace pervasive enough to redeem our foolishness? Have you ever done something so stupid — within the public eye — that you totally embarrassed yourself and left no hope of reclaiming your lost dignity?

Yeah, me too.

I was returning from the men’s room and was late for staff meeting. I was walking briskly, full speed ahead actually, with my head turned slightly to the left.

I never saw it coming…the glass door, that is. I heard the noise before I felt anything, and wondered for a moment whether my abrupt stop caused the noise, or was in response to the noise. In light of the rapidly escalating pain, I deduced that the former was the case. I could feel the warmth of the blood running inside my nose as my eyes clouded over with tears.

While my head buzzed, my nose and forehead began complaining vociferously. This concerned me, but my first priority was clear: I wonder who witnessed this stupid move? I have shattered any dignity and composure I ordinarily exude.What in the world am I going to tell the staff? I’m already late for staff meeting. If it weren’t for the cut and that growing blue mound, they would never have to know about this. I guess I’ll have to be honest about what happened.

That last thought caught my attention. Why would I not be honest? Here I am, broken and bleeding, and the devil is tempting me to lie. But, I’ll admit, it would make matters considerably less embarrassing if I could think up a reasonable alibi. And then, another thought, from the other side of the arena: I wonder if my identity in Christ applies to this dilemma? That thought I took to be from the Holy Spirit.

You know the answer as well as I do. Of course it applies. Our Father didn’t call us "accepted" and "secure" so that we could announce it while cruising the streets of heaven. These facts will be self-evident up there. It is here, on this earth, in this embarrassing situation that I need the confidence of my non-negotiable, immovable, unbending — unlike my nose — acceptance and security. And it is during the three-minute walk back to the office that I need to practice setting my mind on this fact, which is exactly what I did.

As you might suspect, I was late getting to staff meeting. I took my seat at the head of the conference table and launched into my story about being accosted by hoodlums who took my money and landed one blow to my nose before I successfully fought them off, saved a woman and her child whom they had kidnapped, called the police, and…, and then I laughed and told them the truth.

We know Father makes provision for the major crises in life, but He works the details just as hard. Just like the Friend He is, while I was occupied with keeping the blood off of my shirt and trying to get my nose straightened out, He was encouraging me that I was accepted and secure with Him, and He had seen me walk into the door. Not even that changed His mind about me.

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.