Nooo! I am so embarrassed! I half shouted, half cried. Why didn’t you guys tell me? Didn’t you see this spot?
Death By Chocolate Spot
No one has ever died of embarrassment. And I’ve lived through other wardrobe malfunctions. But, my oh my, how they hurt my pride.
Parent-teacher conferences were last night. I’d sat across from not one, not three, not five, but seven- SEVEN!- of my son’s 9th grade teachers. I was close. Close enough to see the fray on his collar and the stain on his tooth and to compliment the Spanish teacher on her Jerusalem cross pendant.
They must have all seen the spot. How could they not?
That is the shirt pictured above. But, for the record, that is not the spot. Oh, no. It was much bigger and far darker and way more chocolatey than that. Because the spot that mortified me was a caked-on splatter of chocolate cookie dough, whence those dark beauties came.
4 Takeaways from the Spot
I’m always looking for a lesson. So without (way) overthinking the chocolate spot, here are four quick takeaways:
1. Look in the mirror before you head out the door.
Literally. Check for spots, check your teeth. But also spiritually. There are blindspots we don’t see in our lives and we won’t see without the mirror of God’s Word before us. So look in the mirror.
2. Friends tell friends when they see spots.
When a friend mentions the spinach in my teeth or the cows coming out, that’s a gift. Better a second of awkward than an hour of public display. And remember, faithful are the wounds of a friend. Friends tell friends.
3. A little embarrassment humbles me.
And that’s good because God embraces the humble, embarrassed. Embarrassment means failure- big or small. I failed to look in the mirror before dashing out the door. But failure isn’t the end of the world. God still loves me.
4. ‘Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free.
‘Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free, ’tis a gift to come down to where I ought to be. I know this: when you’re low you don’t have to fear falling. Someone’s even said that creativity only comes when you feel at ease with embarrassment.
That might be a stretch. But here I am sharing my spot story with you. Being vulnerable about my own failure might help you grow. Or at least help lighten the mood if you’re feeling low.
To See Ourselves As Others See Us
Speaking of low, I’ll close with that Robert Burns’ poem, “To A Louse.” He’s a few pews behind fancy Miss Jeany, who is oblivious to the “ugly, creepin, blastit” fellas hopping beneath her bonnet and tossing her hair about.
The last stanza comes to mind as I munch on a cookie and think on the spot.
O wad some Power the giftie give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It wad free many a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait would lea’e us,
And ev’n devotion!
The Power gave me that little death-by-chocolate gift the other night, to see myself as others saw me. But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
God’s grace flows to the humble. With or without the chocolate spots.
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.