My life is awkward. I think it's inevitable, dare I say normal, since we have two non-stop talkers ages 3 and 4. At least that is what I tell myself so I don't feel like a weirdo.
In the last 24 hours my boys have talked to a lady about her "whiskers", opened the shower door on me, asked a stranger about dog nipples and pretended to be a wolf for most of the soccer game instead of actually playing soccer.
When you have that many awkward moments a day you'd think I would be an expert at dealing with awkward, but I'm just not. Not anywhere close. Each time I have absolutely no idea what to say. So what do I do? Embarrass myself even more by pretending like I didn't hear. What in the world do I think that would make it easier!? The person obviously knows I'm acting oblivious. And then they pretend they don't know that they know I am acting like I don't know... oh my.
But here's reality. Not pressing in to awkward causes us to miss seeing what God is doing.
Yesterday Uriah started calling a random lady on the bleachers by us a bad guy. But then he remembered that Jesus turns bad guys into good guys so he asked for a gospel tract. I had The Story in my purse and handed him one. He struted right over to the girl and said, "It's a gospel tract" and walked away. Isn't that so cute and brave... and awkward.
Me, a missionary who has shared the gospel a thousand times, felt so awkward that I defaulted to pretend I don't know what's happening mode. Oh my! Now, looking back, all I had to do was ask a question to eliminate the awkward. All I had to do was press in, to enter the awkward and say, "Do you have a spiritual background?" or "Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?" and I would have got to see what God was doing in that girls heart.
But this morning the Lord, in His incredible grace, comforted me by showing me the disciples didn't know how to handle awkward either. Get this, "Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?" (John 4:27). Jesus had just been sharing the gospel with a lady, a Samaritan no less, and they walk up. Ya know those times you walk up to people talking and they stop talking... yeah, that.
But just like me, the disciples didn't say anything either! That is comforting I am not alone. Perhaps they defaulted to ignore and pretend that didn't happen mode just like me. Though I'm not alone in my not being able to deal with awkward so well, I still missed out on seeing what God was up to just like the disciples missed out. If they just would have asked what was going on, if they just would have entered the awkward, they would have got to hear Jesus explain that the gospel was for the Samaritans too. They would have got to know the Samaritan lady had just put her trust in Him. But they missed it.
So, what do you say, want to make an effort to enter awkward with me and catch a glimpse of what God is doing?
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has four kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks to college and women's groups. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
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