I hate when I’m oblivious to something. There was this one day I ran into a guy I knew from college. This guy was someone I’d always felt intimidated by. He always seemed so cool to me. He was visiting my neighbor and saw me through my window. My then 2-year-old son was running around in just a diaper and I fully felt my stay-at-home-mom status. I had taken a shower, thankfully, but hadn’t fixed my hair or put on any makeup.
My schoolmate and I stood at my door talking for about 10 minutes. During our conversation my son tried to run out the door. I caught him and held him on my hip while I finished the conversation. As I held him I began to notice the pungent smell of a dirty diaper. I got embarrassed that my friend would notice and quickly tried to end the conversation. After he left I changed my son’s diaper and put him down for a nap. I then went in my room, caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and noticed the most awful thing possible. Some of my sons diaper contents had leaked onto my t-shirt. How disgusting! I’m sure that this guy I’d thought was so cool had seen the poop emerging from the diaper and smeared across my shirt. And I just stood there like an idiot with a brown stain on my hip.
It’s so amazingly awful when you realize something about yourself that you know others already had knowledge of. Not only do you then feel embarrassed about the situation, but you feel even worse that people knew you didn’t know.
I’m sure that the guy didn’t think anything of it…because he really is a nice guy…but I hate to think that the only thing he remembers from our conversation was that I had stinky poot on me.
So what about those instances in life when you have poopie character on you and don’t realize it? Those “aha” moments when you discover a shade of your personality that has been hidden to you but evident to others.
Until I got married I thought I was a pretty nice person. I thought that I was a loving, giving girlfriend and a thoughtful friend. Then I got married and I realized that I liked things a certain way; my way. So I spent the next few years working on my control issues and bossiness and thought I made some real headway. Then I had kids.
Just like an onion, there’s always another layer to shed of myself so that I can get closer to the person God desires me to be. The image from C.S. Lewis’ book “Voyage of the Dawntreader” always illustrates this idea so poignantly for me. He describes a character from the book who has been turned into a dragon. This character has been not-so-easy to get along with up to that point and so it’s fairly appropriate that he’s now a dragon. The character, Eustace, has a vision where he sees a lion (Aslan) beckoning Eustace to follow him to a pool. Before Eustace is allowed to enter the pool he needs to undress. Being a dragon he only has skin on so he starts to brush away at it. At first only scales fall off, then an entire layer gets peeled off. After peeling off a couple of layers ineffectively, Aslan grabs Eustace and rips down deep to remove all of the dragon skin, revealing the human body underneath. It hurt Eustace some for this to happen, but in the end he felt much better after everything had been removed.
This is how I picture God dealing with me. I may be oblivious to some of the things that God needs to remove from me, but eventually it will all come off. It will be slightly painful and vulnerable process, but in the end I will feel better about who I am because I'll know I'm the person God wants me to be.