True story from my single days.
Moving through the S & S Cafeteria line, I smiled as I reflected on the compliments I’d received at church that morning. My new dress, solid salmon-colored silk, had made quite a splash! My girlfriends and I made our way to a table still being cleared by the waitress. Just before I sat down, she wiped the chair seat with a damp towel.
A damp towel. Remember that part.
I enjoyed lunch with my friends, then proceeded to the cashier. As I confidently made my way through the busy restaurant, I heard a voice call, “Ma’am”. It didn’t register that she was talking to me. I continued walking, catching the eye of a single guy at my church. We exchanged smiles. “Yes, sir!”, I thought to myself. “I am looking GOOD in my new dress today!”
“MA’AM!”, the voice called, louder.
I turned to see who was being summoned so urgently.
The kind waitress was looking at me.
And then, across the filled-to-capacity restaurant, with a voice like a megaphone, she announced these words:
“MA’AM. YOUR BUTT BE WET.”
It was as if E.F. Hutton had spoken. Conversation ceased. Forks paused in mid air. Heads turned. All to check out the lady in the salmon colored dress…whose butt be wet.
“Excuse me???”, I stammered.
“YOUR BUTT,” she yelled sincerely, helpfully and with great projection, while pointing to it.
“YOUR BUTT BE WET”.
Apparently, because of the damp towel, the seat had not dried before I sat in it.
What was there to say, but…”thank you.”
Have you ever had a “wet butt moment”? A moment when you think you’re perfectly groomed and oh, so confident, yet unaware of a glaring flaw that is evident to everyone…but you?
The hard truth is that each of us has flaws and we need help from others like the helpful waitress to point out the things we can’t see about ourselves!
In his book Humility, True Greatness, C.J. Mahaney observes, “Without others’ help to see myself clearly, I’ll listen to my own arguments, believe my own lies, and buy into my own delusions. I’ll forget this wise warning: ‘The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice’ (Proverbs 12:15).”
I definitely need help! How about you? We can’t effectively watch ourselves by ourselves; we need the discerning eyes of others.
I’m not saying that others are infallible. But those closest to us can have insights about us that we would otherwise miss.
A few questions you might ask those closest to you:
Do others find it easy to correct me, or do they tend to put up with my stuff because they don’t want to have to deal with the drama I create when confronted?
How do I act when I don’t get my way? Am I manipulative, whiney, pouty, gossipy or even volatile?
How am I at apologizing?
And when I do so, am I specific? Or do I talk in vague generalities?
These are not easy questions for us to ask ourselves, but I invite you to do so with a trusted family member or friend. And remember, knowledge by itself is not enough. By God’s grace, and with His help, take action with the information you gain. The difference is in the doing!
Oh, and next time you’re at a restaurant, make sure the seat is dry before you sit in it.