Preparation. As I prepared to speak at my childhood church this week, I recalled some vivid memories and stories about the people and events connected to that place.
I’ll never forget one of the first times that someone asked me to serve in the fellowship hall of that church as a young adult. I had helped serve the noon meal after a morning revival service. We were all seated in a semi-circle, with the evangelist and the church staff at the head table.
Since I was the youngest member of the ladies group helping that day, someone asked me to fetch some more rolls for everyone. I remember the embarrassment I felt as I got up from my seat in front of everyone and walked to the kitchen in my church clothes, probably a dress and heels.
Then, my absolute worst fear happened. As I walked out of kitchen with a big plate of rolls, I tripped and fell down, tossing the rolls into into air.
I can still hear the gasps of the crowd there and feel the emotions of the shame and embarrassment that washed over me.
Needless to say, I did not want to look up at the crowd after my fall. I knew everyone in the room was staring at me, and I did not even want to imagine how I must have looked to them. But I swallowed my pride, picked myself up off the floor, and asked, “Does anyone want a roll now?”
Several years later, after we moved to Arkansas, I visited a restaurant in Branson, Missouri, who advertised their “throwed rolls.” And I wondered if they knew who really invented that idea.
Reality Check. As I prepared to speak this week, I did have a bit of reality check. I imagined the possibility of making a total fool of myself here again.
Did I really want to encourage my old friends and family to tell the stories that matter most? What if I reminded them of some stories that I’d rather forget?
Survival. I did survive speaking in the fellowship hall this week to the ladies at First Baptist Church, Silsbee, Texas. I didn’t trip and fall again, although I did lose an earring before I spoke. So, I had to change earrings, and wear a pair that did not match my necklace. But I survived without totally humiliating myself.
I also visited with many old friends and family members, and we shared some of our memorable stories.
What stories comes to mind as you think about your childhood?