How often do you put your foot in your mouth? If your name is Diana the answer is probably “SO, SO, SO OFTEN.” I’m going to tell you a story about a time I put my foot so far down my throat it got stuck.
One time, about 3 years ago, Marvin and I were on a marriage retreat. There was a precious, holy couple sharing their testimony. They were talking about this resource that they suggested for all married Catholic couples. They said this resource significantly blessed their marriage and they talked (ALOT) about how hard marriage was. They got really raw and it was emotional for them AND for all of the couples in the audience.
At the end of the talk, I walked up to the woman and said, “I mean, what about if marriage is just SO EASY for us? Do we even need this resource since things are just so great and easy in our marriage?”
You could see how hard this sweet, tiny, holy woman was trying NOT to roll her eyes at the annoying, sanctimonious me. She just gave me a small smile and said, “There will be bumps….EVENTUALLY and when you encounter those bumps you’ll know how to handle them thanks to this resource.”
Immediately after the words escaped my mouth, I regretted them. Immediately. This conversation took place 3 years ago and sometimes the whole scenario plays in my head like a movie. I imagine how hard it must’ve been for her to stand up in front of all of those married couples and tell the TRUTH about marriage. I imagine myself walking up to her like the blubbering, clueless idiot I am. I imagine my big, annoying smile plastered across my face while I talked about how easy and perfect things were for us.
To make matters worse, I still see this woman from time to time. And she is SO freaking likeable that I wish we were friends. She is holy and real and FUNNY. Sometimes we even have to worship together or have small group discussions together.
I’ve never apologized to her for how annoying and insensitive I was. Never. Have I wanted to? Yes! Sometimes when she’s talking (saying REALLY smart and funny and magnetic things) I just want to blurt out “Remember that time I was SO annoying and said marriage was a cake walk after you had just talked about how difficult it was for you? Well, I’m SO sorry. I speak WAY more than I should and, you were SOFREAKINGRIGHT. Marriage isn’t ever all-the-way easy. I know that first hand now.”
I don’t say that, though. I just sit there and let her think whatever it is she is going to think about me. Maybe she doesn’t even remember it OR maybe she does, I don’t know. What I do know is this crazy, annoying thing I told her will be the thing that helps me to grow in humility. I will make a conscious effort to keep my lips zipped. Why? Because it HURTS not to set the record straight. It’s a small suffering for me.
I want so badly for people to like me. This girl (who I want to be friends with) has always seemed slightly annoyed with me. Maybe it’s all in my head or maybe that conversation we had 3 years ago (her very first impression of me) is as burned into her memory as it is mine. I’ll never know because I won’t ever bring it up.
It hurts not to, and sometimes exercise hurts, especially “soul exercise.”