As Heather Says, “Simmah Dahn Nah.”

Translation: Simmer down now.

Not sure this isn’t beating a dead horse, but I want to circle back around on the blogs from last week. There was a lot of concern/instruction about my upset on the pregnant question. Thank you. And tons of concern about the offending woman. Thank you.

But I want to clarify that wasn’t about her. If I didn’t make that clear, let me repeat. It was about me and the Lord. As my friend Lyschel said, “she just happened to be the person who delivered the blow to the piece of the dam that loosed some stuff for you.” Amen. And the irritation of the moment was worth the revelation from God later.

However, glossing over the irritation, or denying it, or padding it, might not have resulted in the same revelation. Why were we so concerned about even broaching the topic? Is the idea of offending so off limits? Is it un-Christian? Is our every conversation to be without emotional upset?

Do you think Jesus offended people?

I am quite sure He did. In fact I think God purposely blows us up emotionally to get to our heart. Just like He did me last week. It is okay to be offended. It is okay to be angry. It is okay to express all of that. The better question is what do we DO in the that moment.

It is also okay for us to learn grace, to learn how to speak the truth in difficult moments. What if we were not talking about social faux pas, but life and death issues: porn, abortion, eating disorders? What then? I think there will be all kinds of sparks flying in those conversations.

In my first blog on this topic, I said, “Grace is not the same as silence.” I chose silence that day, because I lacked grace. And in my human observation, we don’t get to grace without practice. We learn it, one difficult encounter at a time. He doesn’t waste anything. I am so glad.

I don’t think God’s goal is for us to”be nice.”  I think His goal is that we”speak the truth in love.”  And then gives us a lifetime to practice.

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Program… To Vent!

You know you need grace when you get into those situations where you become frighteningly silent for fear of vomiting venom all over yourself, the offending person and the people standing within 10 feet of you.

That happened to me this morning.  I didn’t even look at her for fear that fire-breathing dragons would burst from my eyes and burn her up on the spot.

But after I walked away from the moment, the Lord showed me these scenarios are also good indicators of other things besides grace:

A) God is teaching me self-control.
B) God is setting me up to flush places in my heart that need healing.
C) He is using ME to heal, repair, and convict someone else.

Another possible solution is that He is doing D) all of the above. Not funny, fun or entertaining. At all.

For the sake of social instruction… if you don’t KNOW a person well enough to already KNOW the facts, don’t ask if she is pregnant. Unless she has on a “baby on board” T-shirt, or like message, don’t go there. Not ever. Ever. Just because someone has a pudge, don’t ask, “How far along are you?” Believe it or not, there are about 100 body shapes between anorexic and pregnant. Why do we go from model thin to “with child”? Look around; there are lots and lots of body styles in between these two points on the spectrum.  The last time I had a flat belly, I was 8.  It is socially ridiculous to assume someone is with child because they have a roll.  Can I be more clear? If you haven’t heard through the grapevine, if you don’t see a baby falling out of her uterus,  if you don’t see some book for new mommies nearby, don’t ask.

For the sake of spiritual conviction…why did that bother me so badly that I couldn’t even respond? And what is the appropriate response?

It bothered me so badly because it was like a contest had occurred and I lost. She was thin and attractive and her question was like a judgment that I was not.  I let her definition shake up my heart.  And appropriate? Proverbs says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.”  How about a response like, “What an odd question. Why would you feel the freedom to ask that?”

Instead of being honest, I withdrew. Instead of standing in my beauty as God sees it, I hung my head in shame. That really hurt, but instead of being straightforward, I froze in the name of some Christian, Southern, love your neighbor BS.

Why do we shy away from letting people know how we feel? Are only good feelings, happy, holy feelings allowed?  I don’t think so.

Today has been a good, good day by being such a bad one. But here are my God take-aways:

Truth:  I belong to my Lover and His desire is for me (round belly and all).  Don’t give in to social stupidity when it comes to weight, beauty and fashion.
Truth: If you don’t know, don’t ask. Ever.
Truth: Speak the truth, even when it hurts. Maybe it will stop the insensitive person from continuing to ask foolish questions of others.
Truth: Grace is not the same thing as silence.

Blessings on all you round-bellied women!  And you flat-bellied ones, too!