Awkward Silence

I’m awkward. You know that uncomfortable feeling you get when a person embarrasses themselves? I have that feeling every time I talk. I’m awkward. I try not to be, but I am. I don’t know why but people make me nervous. I suspect it is because I am left-handed. I found a survey that said 85% of left-handed people consider themselves awkward ( I could try tying my left hand behind my back before engaging in dialogue. I’m just not sure how greeting someone with, “Hi, I’m Shaena, would you mind tying me up”, would really solve anything. I’m awkward. There is a real, internal struggle happening while I interact that resembles a toddler on a balance beam. Sound graceful? It’s not.

Last Sunday I saw a girl sitting outside the theater where we meet for church. I knew I needed to talk to her. I knew because along with the thought that I had to talk with her came the voice that told me to keep walking.

I stopped anyway and introduced myself. I became painfully aware of my awkwardness from the moment our conversation began. I have a personal critic who mocks me from inside my head (Psalm 89:51). She is no doubt sarcastic and rude, but, most of the time, her arguments are pretty convincing.

“Really Shaena, this is not awkward at all. I mean look at all you have in common. She is young and hip and you are younger than some and carrying a baby on your hip. I can’t wait to watch you make a fool of yourself. Ha ha ha ha ha ( said in an evil Disney character voice)”.

It would have been easier to walk away. I could have walked away and just begged the Lord to send someone else, knowing He would. Instead, I pressed passed my insecurities and shared from my heart the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was awkward, both during and after. It was awkward because even as I spoke words of truth out loud, I could not completely drown out the voice that mocks me. Fortunately, the voice of the mocker has no power. Later, when those awkward feelings subsided, I was left with the peace of submitting to God’s will.

The Bible is home to the most famous awkward person in history, Moses. In Exodus 4, Moses is strategizing with God himself and still is overcome by a fatal dose of introspection.

vs 10, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant”

Translation, “God, I’m awkward”. (Insert: awkward silence.)

It sure is a good thing there was no one else around. I imagine there would be more than a couple of people gritting their teeth and shifting their eyes to hide their embarrassment for poor awkward Moses.

Um, seriously Moses, He’s God. Surely, since he created your mouth, sound, and everything else, he can get your back on a couple of speeches. But Moses couldn’t let it go. Instead, he chose to listen to that voice that screamed his inadequacies, and ignore the truth that was right there with him. He just could not believe that God would use him in spite of him, and in verse 13 Moses asks the Lord to send someone else.

vs 13 “Please send someone else”.

I’m awkward. Moses was awkward. The truth is, we are all awkward. That girl in the park was not an exception to this rule. I’m sure she has a mocker that makes her feel unsteady and unsure at times too. God’s word, however, gives believers power to challenge the mockers with truth, and the opportunity to carry that truth to the world. God challenged Moses’ mocker with truth, but Moses couldn’t believe Him. I’ve been there too, and am thankful that we don’t serve a “one shot” God.

God uses awkward people. Moses continued on to become a mighty leader of God’s people. Hebrews 11 acknowledges Moses for his life of faith (Hebrews 11:23-28). What will you be acknowledged for?
As I think about that girl in the park, I wonder about the impact a crazy lady with a baby on her hip might have had on her day. I can’t help but laugh. Whether I am a vessel God uses to help turn her heart to the Lord or not, I opened my mouth to let Him fill it (Psalm 81:10), and that is all He asks of any of us.

What makes you awkward? I’d love to laugh with you about silly idiosyncrasies that make you who you are! God can use those things too!