See what happens when a simple task goes awry...
For my son, it happened in TJ Max. It started with my impulse to redecorate the living room. I was on a one day mission to find inexpensive picture frames. We had already visited a few stores, and the kids had boldly declared that, "this would be the last stop of the day". Knowing that they were at the end of their rope, I decided to make the most of my time in this last store. I walked each and every aisle, desperately searching for the perfect frame. With each aisle I entered, the moans of children trailed behind. "I'm hungry. My feet hurt. It's too hot in here." Out of the several complaints I could only do something about that last one, "It's too hot in here." I turned to my youngest son and noticed he still had his sweatshirt on from the brisk morning. It was now 80 degrees out! So I suggested he take his sweatshirt off, thus leaving just his tshirt on.
We walked out of the side aisle and approached the main section of the store. "Are we done now?" my hopeful older son asked. "Yes, I believe so....hold on...mommy sees something else she likes!" I replied. I made a bee-line over to the candles located on the end cap. Ooohhh, a detour, but worth a little look. After a couple of minutes of pure fragrance overload, I decided it was probably time to wrap things up. As I turned to gather up the kids and deliver the joyous news, "that we were officially done", I noticed my youngest son was not directly behind me. I did a 360 turn to locate his where abouts.
There he was. It took me a moment, but I was sure that the child I was staring at was actually mine. There in the middle of the side aisle my son stood, completely shirtless. His sweatshirt and tshirt lay on the ground next to him, as he stood with his little arms wrapped around his pale, bare chest. I laughed (as any good mom would do!) and wondered why my son was hiding out, half naked, in aisle 5. It looked like a fraternity prank gone bad. The more I thought about it, the harder I began to laugh. There I stood, hollering down the aisle, "Son, why are you naked? Put your clothes back on." People walked by and couldn't resist looking.
That's when I saw it...the look of true embarrassment in my son's eyes. He had tried to take the sweatshirt off, but the tshirt stuck inside it. Instead of calling for help, he resorted to hiding out...all for the sake of avoiding embarrassment. What seemed like a humorous event to me, was completely humiliating to him. Luckily, he got over it, and can somewhat laugh about it now. But, it was a great reminder to me that there are people around me who are embarrassed and hiding out in life. Embarrassed that they don't have the perfect marriage, ideal house, a high status job...the list goes on. They don't want to be exposed, for fear that others will "laugh". As healthy as it is to laugh, to what or who's expense do we do it?
"A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance."
Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NLT)