Last weekend I attended our church ladies retreat, a great time of refreshment with a good speaker and enjoyable conversations. During one of our Saturday sessions, I was sitting at a table right in front of the speaker when the most embarrassing thing occurred. Since it’s convenient for me to read the Bible from my Kindle, that is what I had opted to bring to the retreat. Apparently, there is a feature on that Bible that I had not noticed before. The speaker was making an important point from I Samuel when all of a sudden my Kindle Bible began to read the passage out loud.
Of course, this caused everyone to turn toward me wondering what I was doing. Since I was unaware of this aspect of my Kindle Bible, I had no idea how to turn it off. I floundered with it, frantically pushing various buttons but even when I opted to turn the Kindle off, the oral reading continued. Sigh…
With all eyes on me, there was no slipping away unnoticed, so red-faced, I dashed to the door. Outside, in the hall, I eventually clicked for the Bible to change from I Samuel to Matthew. With that move, the voice finally stopped. Another sigh… I quietly reentered the meeting but did not turn on my Bible app for the rest of the retreat.
At that same retreat, later in the day, I was talking with a new lady that I was introduced to. “Oh,” she said, “I remember you. You spoke to our church ladies a couple years ago.”
My mind was blank. I did not recall her and I did not remember speaking at the church she mentioned. After a painful time of 20 questions, I told her I must be having a senior moment and could not remember speaking at her church. Talk about being embarrassed. I asked if she was sure it was me… and what did I speak on? When she told me the subject, I knew it was me.
Finally, after about five uncomfortable minutes, I did recall that we had not met at her church, but at a retreat center. I then did remember the leader who had asked me to speak. Whew…all was ok.
Interestingly, as I returned to my seat from that encounter, looking at my notes, I had to laugh. Our topic for this retreat was God loving us in the midst of our “messes.” Perfect! I had just had two messes right there at the retreat.
I found myself laughing at both of them. Life happens. At times we will be caught in odd, sometimes noisy situations, and at times our memories aren’t perfect. God reminded me of something He had taught me years ago. It’s this: Aren’t we glad God doesn’t define us by our weaknesses and shortcomings?
Knowing this, we can relax and know we are loved even when we blow it. We can even laugh at some of our own blunders. And when we see someone else in an embarrassing situation, we can simply know we’ve found a fellow traveler.