Why is that sometimes when we are trying to impress others all the magnetic poles line up to foil our attempts and mock us?
I was walking into the restaurant, following the waiter through a tiled floor maze of occupied tables. Curtis was bringing up the tail.
I felt a joy in him following me, watching me. We were still dating and I was trying to make a good impression.
We had just come from church and I was in heels, hose, and a skirt. This was not just any outfit thrown together. I knew this was an outfit I looked good in. I was feeling confident.
“It is just over there,” the waiter said, pointing.
I smiled. “Okay.”
I took another step, and another step.
I was beginning to memorize the waiter’s back. It seemed we had wound our way in and through and out and around the sprawling Mexican restaurant at least two times by now. By the time we reached the table I would be famished. I was just hoping the food wouldn’t be cold by the time it came to the table. If it had to traverse our current route, the possibility was bordering on highly likely.
Step. Step. Step. It felt like one of my toenails was to long. Why is that high heels remind me that my toenails need cutting? Step, pain, step, pain.
Suddenly all ceased. No more steps. Things were still. Too still.
Was that the ceiling?
Why were the waiter and Curtis peering down at me with looks of alarm?
What was I doing lying flat on the floor?
One miss-step and I had landed flat on the floor. So fast I didn’t even feel myself falling or have time to try and catch myself.
Both towering men were asking me if I was all right. Telling me to catch my breath and don’t move for a moment.
When you are lying on the floor between two tables of dining people and two towering and receding men who are standing up and then kneeling down and then standing up, you feel pretty flat and small. You also just want to close your eyes and either sink through the floor or wish yourself into some other three-dimensional space that is very far away.
“Should I call the ambulance?” the waiter asked.
A child’s voice floated down, “Mommy, that woman just toppled over dead.”
Embarrassment and erosion of pride and dignity were descending quicker than a falling thermometer in an artic storm.
I mentally checked my body parts. All felt fine. I felt no pain at all.
I sat up and tried to gracefully stand with Curtis providing a helping hand under my arm. (My straight skirt was both a blessing and a curse. It is harder to arise gracefully from a prone position on the floor in a straight skirt. But a straight skirt also can’t fly over one’s head and allow bare skin to touch the tile floor littered with food drops and foot prints.) Soon I found myself upright.
The waiter kept apologizing and asking me if I was fine.
I smiled. “Yes, and where was our table?”
He glanced around, trying to remember and then pointed forward.
“Mommy, the lady was resurrected.”
I may have been resurrected, but I felt like I was drowning in embarrassment and a strong case of get-me-out-of-here syndrome.
Curtis tucked his hand under my elbow and guided me to the table. If I was going to slip and upend backwards on another puddle of tortilla soup, cheese grease, or slimy salsa, he was going to be there to catch me. He was going to protect me. He was going to walk beside me and lead me to our destination.
Somehow, we got to the table and had lunch while about 4 attentive waiters kept asking me if I was all right, was there anything they could do, and could they pay for the cleaning of my clothes?
Sure, I was mortified and thought my raggedy pride would take awhile to recover, but it felt good to know someone was on my side ready to catch me and clear the path of spilled food.
Curtis is still by my side, walking besides me, and for that I am thankful.
But someone has been besides me even longer than Curtis.
God resurrected me from my old dead life and now walks patiently beside me. Beside all His children.
God is our protector. When I slow down and focus for awhile on Him, delighting in Him, I feel his hand under my elbow, gently leading me down the path, walking besides me to clear or minimize missteps, tenderly pulling me back to me feet when I upend, resurrecting me from despair and helplessness and filling my heart with joy, love, and peace.
I don’t know about you, but in my reality where I live daily, trying to impressing others is a tricky business, and often ends in failure. Luckily, we don’t need to impress God.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important and have a lovely day.
Join the Discussion: How do your efforts to impress others end up?
Linking up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory); and Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope). A Wise Woman Builds her Home, Pat and Candy, Messy Marriage, Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth), Missional Women, Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), and Lili Dunbar (#FaithOnFire).