“The mini-van sliding door of shame.” It’s a thing. You know, when you drop your kids at school, all humanity is watching, the door slides open, and two McDonald’s cups, a gazillion goldfish crackers and one muddy soccer cleat avalanche before an audience of teachers and students. Yeah. It’s a bummer.
When this happened a few years ago, Eli’s precious teacher made a valiant effort to catch the miscellaneous items rolling between her legs. I was mortified. I had to put my car in park, resulting in a drop-off line clog up, insisting, “You really don’t need to help me find a trash can!”
“My car’s been way worse!” she giggled.
My ears were scorching with embarrassment. However, I was able to laugh after I danced the humiliation-hustle back into the driver’s seat. What a gift to be met with grace, and not disdain. Had her car really been worse?! Probably not. But, I chose to believe her. I imagined some mini-van, somewhere in the world, where maybe three McDonald’s cups slipped out. Thinking of that Mamma made me smile. I wish I could meet her and whisper, ‘I’ve seen way worse…in my own backseat!’
Let’s be honest, we’re all in the same mini-van. Let’s give grace as a free gift to each other. We have the power to turn someone’s shame into relieved acceptance by simply acknowledging -we’re actually human, too!
The beauty of freely given grace, is it doesn’t put the recipient on trial before deciding if they’re worthy. I fully admit, I’m clean-car challenged. But that specific season of life was Crazy Town. Eli’s teacher didn’t know what I was straining to juggle. She didn’t need to. She didn’t need any other reason to love me like Jesus…but to know she was first loved by Him. “We love because he first loved us”.(1 John 4:19-21)
As we enter into a new school season, be the first to encourage another Mamma if she’s having a, “trash-just-rolled-out-of-my-car,” kind of day. She may be hitting some speed bumps you’re unaware of.
Sit with her in the space she feels “less-than”.
Refrain from judgement.
Give grace freely. It costs you nothing.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)