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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

By Paul Potenza



I look like a pretty normal 51 year old male. I have a wife and four kids (all grown up and here I include my wife). Please note that I did not say that I am all grown up...just my wife and kids. I stress that particular point because I really don't feel like I'm all grown up. Oh, I appear to be the model of maturity. I own a house and a car and I am a pillar in my church and community. I didn't make that up either. People have told me so.

When people say such things to me, it is difficult for me not to laugh out loud in the barking manner of a seal undergoing surgery via a weed whacker.

Really...I have a hard time understanding why anybody with the IQ of a snail would consider me mature.

I am a guy who has managed to leave my house for an important business meeting wearing mismatched shoes! To my credit, I try to get dressed in the dark because my wife gets up later than I do and I want to let her sleep. Subsequently, I try to "feel" the difference between a black shoe and a brown shoe, and I'm not always successful.

If this was the only instance of being a bonehead that I could think of maybe I'd let me off the hook but that is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

In recent years I have also been the guest of the preacher and his wife for dinner. I should start this off by saying that I was really hungry. Anyway, the food had been served and I dug in like a starving hog in a full dumpster. I looked up with a complete dinner roll in my mouth and a leg of turkey in my hand and found everyone staring at me including my grown up wife. At this point the preacher gently said "Perhaps Paul (that's me) would like to offer the blessing." I could tell that my bride was wishing that the earth would open up and swallow her whole, but you never get a break like that when you need it. Did I say that I was really hungry?

Also consider the unfortunate episode wherein I was serving on the Lord's Table. I was asking the blessing over the fruit of the vine when suddenly I emitted a brief but fabric rendingly loud burst of flatulence. I swear it sounded like someone had taken a yardstick and slapped it across the Lord's Table. It didn't help that I had microphones in front of and behind me. I thought the elder's wives were going to faint. One deacon stepped into the gap by shouting "AMEN!" and we've been friends ever since but you have to admit that things were bleak.

This sort of thing goes all the way back through my childhood. In High School I remember one time in history class where I discovered a pimple on my back. It was about halfway down and between the shoulders. I took my ruler and surreptitiously began working on it. It started out very subtly at first but with ever increasing intensity until I looked up and noticed that every member of the entire student body (and here I include the teacher) was looking at me. Needless to say, I am STILL greeted at High School Reunions with "HEY...It's ZIT!!"

Why am I writing this?

So that you won't feel alone. I'm writing this because I know that you've been embarrased too and although it's funny to look at when you're not directly involved, there's nothing funny about it when you personally experience it. If I could get serious for a moment, I often wonder what Christ felt like when he was stripped naked and laughed at. When I look at that I have to say that all my experiences were accidental. His was planned. He knew...and allowed His own embarrassment so that we wouldn't feel alone in ours.

So let the embarrassment come. Overcome it with grace and dignity. Smile at adversity.

Don't EVER call me "Zit".

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This article has been read 444 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 07/27/07
Poor man! So many troubles and embarrassments! But I like the way you end with a reminder of how much Christ endured to ensure our salvation.
c clemons07/29/07
Very good point at the end, we sometimes forget that Christ had the same emotions and disappointments that we have.
Janice Cartwright07/30/07
You combine an easy conversational tone with excellent vocabulary and grammar usage. You made me smile and you brought me back to earth with Jesus' more glorious moment of shame.
Joanne Sher 08/03/07
Congratulations, Paul. Your entry has placed 8th in Level 2. Well Done! The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/26/08
Very, very funny...up until the Lord's Table incident; then I, myself, was embarrassed. (Some things are better left unsaid, if you know what I mean?) Keep up the "L.G." bit, Pauly! I love it and our mutual mentor would be proud!