Sunday, January 9, 2011
I don’t cry often, but when I do it’s the hard, ugly cry, the one where the nose gallops off first and then the makeup, the eyes don’t make an appearance until later, and then they are puffy like the giant Marshmallow man from Ghostbusters stomping over the rest of my skyline visage until red and pink splotches are the only rubble left.
The only thing I hate worse than crying is crying in front of others. To me, it is a weakness, a failure I need to exorcise and I really don’t know why. I hate it and I try to squash over it with my will, but today apparently I had some emotion that just needed to come out, at church, during my class, in front of everyone, and it was coming and there was nothing I could do about it.
I had just born my testimony and borne witness of the Savior and I said ‘Amen’ and then I had to leave or I was going to flood the room. I told the kids I would be right back and I passed every friend I have, and every one who doesn’t know me as well, and I bee lined for the bathroom. Of course, someone had just thrown up and I couldn’t get in to find refuge. I only needed a minute. Where to go? Someone came to sit with me, but I just needed a Kleenex, a minute to put Humpty Dumpty together again. And oh no, I had left my primary class.
The bathroom was finally clean and I scraped the mascara asphalt off my cheeks and took some deep breaths and then I went back in. It isn’t an easy class. It isn’t easy and if I’m honest I have to pray very hard to love all of the children and some of them don’t love me yet, and one may never love me, but that is not why we teach, but it can’t matter because by teaching those kids I will love them. Still, I must admit, I was not prepared today for a Stand And Deliver moment. Do I have that in me?
I am so sensitive to the moods of others. If someone is upset or sad, I internalize it and hold it. One of the little girls has a hard life and her defenses are the Great Wall of China. She is not afraid to tell me I bug her and she hates me, hates to read the scriptures, and pretty much hates everything. She also thinks I hate her and I am going to have to prove to her I don’t, but a lot about her scares me. And if she scares me, I don’t really love her yet or understand her the way I need to, so I have to plead and pray to.
I have a feeling in her life she has come across only a small percentage who have even known what to do with her, and she has a hurt you before you hurt her mentality. So I took that emotion from her today and wore it around my neck and I felt like it was strangling me. That and the lesson I gave filled me with some strong emotions that I had to shake off quickly and oh shame, not so privately.
Humility is hard. Being reminded how little I have of it is worse. And don’t get me started about my lack of charity… But tomorrow is another day. And nothing that is worthwhile is easy. And no one soul is less precious than another one.
I remember being twenty one years old and newly married and living in Virginia. I worked two jobs, one of them being at David’s Bridal. A woman came in and had me running ragged to help her with of all things, bras. After an hour she finally made her purchases and then proceeded to berate me in front of my supervisor. My supervisor stood up for me and placated her at the same time, and I stood there wanting to slug the woman and wanting to cry all in one breathe. I remember the woman leaving and me feeling like I wanted to crumple up, and my supervisor telling me, “Shake it off. You have other customers that need your help and you have to just move on.” Amen.
But oh, how I cried today.