Friday, June 3, 2011

"Winning" and the death of embarrassment

My "spirituality" owns a strange trajectory... sometimes you know what follows a statement like that before you make it, other times you make it and expect previously unknown stuff to follow, sometimes you got nothing but awkward silence.

Strange trajectory, strange trajectory, strange trajectory, spirituality... oh yeah. So I was praying this morning, something that doesn't always happen, and I had one of those little "God moments." Like ended up on my knees and the Sun literally broke through the clouds at the prime moment... moments. It wasn't overwhelming or anything, it was just nice God decided to join the party.

I've prayed for people more or less my entire life, I've seen God show up and do some amazing things, I've seen God use seemingly meaningless things to transform people's lives, and I still feel awkward telling people "So I think God want's to tell you that..." Understand, it is difficult to make me feel awkward. Most of my capacity for embarrassment, and desire to showoff, was slaughtered on the cafeteria floor of Henry Hudson Elementary, circa 1982, when I stood shivering and dripping buck, and butt, naked next to a small clump of soaking wet clothes in front of the school nurse as she answered a question from a 3rd grade girl who walked in as the last of my skivvies hit the floor - that's not what Charlie Shen would call "Winning". Fifteen years later my mom taped a recent picture of me, again in all my glory, on the fridge door - where it hung prominently for several years - the only discomfort I received from it was when my grandma took a prolonged and unnatural interest in it - much closer to "Winning" but still not there. In other words, it seems strange that talking to people, under almost any circumstances, should make me feel awkward - yet it does.

So God shows up, the Sun breaks through the clouds, and, mixed in with a bunch of other stuff, I get a word for someone else. My responses you ask? In close succession, "Cool" and "Well... shoot, I don't want to be "that" jerk." I know, right? So mature and spiritual, nothing but professional Christians work here folks. A little while later, right around the time I wrote up the email and sent it off, I heard the question, "Would you rather be "that" jerk, or the jerk who ignores God?" If you haven't figured it out yet, me and God don't always use "appropriate" language when we communicate, not sure if that says more about me or him?

It's a good question though, which would you rather be? The person who clings to the last dregs of your supposed dignity and class, or the one who gives God the chance to be himself? And once more, why is this even a question? I mean dignity is way overrated, just ask Charlie Sheen.


  1. That was YOU on the fridge? :)
    I like what you wrote. God doesn't require us to be dignified. He requires us to be real and to be willing. Sometimes real is embarrassing. I'm usually cool with that. Usually.

  2. Dignified takes way too much effort and I usually suck at it.