My Lesson in Humiliation



“Did you grab Noah’s backpack?” I sharply ask Kevin. “No” he calmly responds.  Panic fills my eyes as I whip off my seat belt and turn around in my seat. I quickly start moving bags, Bibles, and toys in hopes to find the little, blue backpack resting on the floor. The bag was the link between my world falling apart or being somewhat together for the evening meeting. It contains all the necessities for a happy baby; juice boxes, goldfish, change of clothes, and most importantly extra pull-ups. Ugh. I had left it at the church. I was annoyed.

We arrive at the restaurant and we try to look “together” as we get out of the car. It is 1:15 and our next meeting starts at 6:00. We are still four hours away. We can stay at the restaurant for less than an hour and then make NO STOPS until our next church. This was ideal, but we had toddler who was potty training and now no diaper bag. I was rushed.

We politely chat and order the first thing that looks appetizing. I sound pathetic as I stammer around the fact that I had left Noah’s backpack in the nursery. Going back to the church was not an option. There wasn’t enough time. If it was any other bag I would say, “Just leave it!” But this was his Pottery Barn toddler backpack with red personalization that read NOAH. It is special. The family is very understanding and offers to ship the bag to us. It is now 2:00. If we are going to arrive to our next meeting on time we would have to leave immediately. We are in the middle of our meal though! Ugh. We feel rude. This sweet family just drove thirty minutes out of their way to take us to lunch and we are about to leave in the middle of the meal! Not just that, but now they are shipping our bag to us. As we thank them and leave the restaurant we hope to never repeat this same mistake. I was embarrassed.

We arrive to our next meeting with 10 minutes to spare! I knew I wouldn’t be getting the “Mother of the Year” award as I drop Noah off at the nursery with no diaper bag. I make a few pitiful excuses to the nursery workers before I crawl back to my church seat. I was tired.

The next morning Kevin asks, “Did you see the check I left on the dresser last night?” I quickly respond, “No honey, I don’t do the money – remember?”  “Losing our love offering is not a good way to start a Monday” I think to myself. This IS a big deal – it’s our income! I move our entire room around, sort through papers, search the trash, and do just about anything to find the check. I think to myself, “Come on – get yourself together!  Who wants to support someone who looks so irresponsible?”  Eventually, Kevin had to contact the church and apologize (again) for losing our check.

Oh, you guessed it! The family who drove thirty minutes out of the way to take us to lunch, the family we walked out on half-way through our meal, the family who is shipping Noah’s backpack, is also the church treasurer. Lovely. We blew it! I feel humiliated.

Bottom line – we learned a lesson, humiliation. We don’t have it all together. This is hard to swallow when we work so hard to “look” good.  We’re not. It doesn’t matter what organizational skill we use to pack our bags, how professional our DVD presentation appears, how polished our testimonies sound, life will happen. We didn’t plan to mess up, but we did. We only gain favor with churches and people because of God’s grace, and NOT because of our appearances. His goodness is shown in spite of our failures.

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