It is raining outside when Mom comes home from work. As she attempts to shake off her wet coat she hears a loud groan coming from the kitchen.
“What in the world is that?” she thinks to herself. It sounds like some kind of a wounded animal.
Maneuvering her way through the rooms she calls out, “Jan, is that you? Are you all right?” She finds her daughter with her head down on the kitchen table. She hears her let out a loud sigh.
“Mom . . . Mom, I feel so bad. I’ve had a rotten day.”
Stroking her daughter’s pretty blond hair Mom says, “I’m so sorry, sweetie, tell me all about it.”
Looking up with tears in her eyes, Jan begins.
“Where do I even start? I was wearing sandals to school and you know how it was raining even then. I stepped in a mud hole which started my day out badly. Then when I got inside, one of the straps broke on my shoe. I had to walk around with it flopping. It was so embarrassing.
“Then we had a pop quiz in math. I hope I did all right -- I could barely count at that point. After lunch, there was a fire drill. Can you imagine it? A fire drill in the rain! What were they thinking? Here I am, looking like a drowned rat with one shoe flopping, and I run smack into the cute new boy. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so sad.
“After school I went to work at the ice cream parlor. My first customer was Gary and another girl!
“Do you mean the Gary that you’ve been dating?”
“Yes, that would be the one.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“That’s not all. You know how I’ve been wrestling with these new retainers on my teeth? Well, I sucked it up and went to their table, pad in hand. Just before I got to their table, my retainer popped loose in my mouth. I didn’t think it would look good to stick my hand in my mouth just as they saw me, so I tried to take their order anyway.
“I kept mumbling, ‘May I take your order?’ He kept saying, ‘What?’ Finally I opened my mouth to speak intelligently and my retainer popped out of my mouth onto the table right in front of them. He yelled, ‘Ewe your teeth fell out!’ I guess he thought it was funny, but I was so embarrassed.”
“Oh, sweetheart, I’m so sorry.”
Jan lays her head down on the table again.
“I felt like fading away into a puddle of nothing. The whole day was just one big embarrassment.”
“Do you know what this reminds me of? It was when I first began to sing solos at church. Do you remember the day it was snowing and cold and I had to wear my big coat? I was wearing a polyester dress, and when I took off my coat, my dress had clung to my body terribly.
“I knew I couldn’t go on stage looking like that, so I ran to the bathroom to find something, anything to be anti-static. I knew starch would do it if I could find some. I found nothing but air freshener so I sprayed it all over my dress. My dress finally let go pretty well, but I smelled strongly of air freshener. I was so embarrassed that I could barely remember my words.”
“Yeah, but that was funny.”
“Not to me, it wasn’t.”
“I guess an embarrassment is only funny to the ones watching it.”
“Yes, I guess so, but there is something else that God spoke into my heart while I was in the bathroom praying. I was saying, ‘God, I thought I was supposed to do this. Why then is everything going wrong? What if I get nervous and forget the words to the song? How will that honor You?’
“He whispered back and said, ‘I can take care of any mistakes you make while obeying Me.’ Some days it seems that there is one attack after another that comes to knock us off of our path, but I will always remember that God can take care of any embarrassment. After all, He took even that to the cross with Him.”
“Yeah, that’s right. He even took the pain of my bad days. If I please Him, that’s all that matters. Thanks, Mom, for reminding me. I feel better now.”
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