*day 4//write31days (to see previous posts click on the “step out of your comfort zone” sidebar button)
As I was thinking about what I’ve done in the past that has failed, like what I’ve tried or how I’ve branched out of my comfort zone and it hasn’t worked out, this memory slapped me in the face. I can’t believe I had forgotten about this. It’s truly a lesson about taking risks, sometimes with the results being awkward and embarrassing.
A few years ago, we were in a period of transition with our church and I was looking for ways to serve and be supportive. So something came up and I felt like God must have been leading me to answer this call. There was a family who lived nearby who’s father had died, and this church was going to help them out and support them through a memorial service and with food. This was an opportunity to display the gospel and to offer people who knew nothing of the love of Christ the hope of salvation, even in death.
There was (what I interpreted as) a plea for help and support in this, and it was very last minute and I was available so I decided I’d show up and offer some support. At a funeral of someone I didn’t know. Okay please know that this is a stretch, probably for anyone, but especially for me.
So I showed up at the little memorial service, assuming more people I knew would have answered the call for help so I wouldn’t be alone (because I’m definitely the type of person that finds comfort hiding behind crowds of people, not being up in front on display). But, alas. There was one person helping in the kitchen that I knew, and then the pastor.
I really had no idea what to do, so I sat down in the circle of chairs. And then the family and friends started coming in and talking quietly amongst themselves, and then people started asking me how I knew the deceased, and I stumbled over the words trying to spit out graciously that I didn’t know him, just was there to support the family.
But hello. This is not something I had thought through. A pretty young gal that no one knows shows up to a funeral, and what do you think it might look like? Umm yeh. It started to dawn on me that they all probably thought I was the dead guy’s mistress. Nice.
And there was nothing to be done. It was all so strange. I sat through the whole thing, literally trying not to make eye contact with anyone. Thankfully the gospel was clearly presented, so there was that. Eventually as the service wrapped up I slipped out into the kitchen and offered to help. And when there was nothing to be done I slipped out the back door and drove away as fast as I could.
Even now, I get a pit in my stomach thinking about that moment. I was trying not to be controlled by my comfort, to step out and serve others, but in the end, it was horrible.
I’m not sure what this experience taught me, except that sometimes it’s just a fail. For all the ways we try to do things we aren’t super comfortable with, some of them will be amazing, and some of them will be a total fail where you wish you could crawl into a hole and die.
Thankfully I think there are more moments where stepping out of our comfort zone brings joy and blessing, instead of just awkward moments. But I guess we have to be willing to be awkward and uncomfortable if we truly want to put ourselves out there and take risks.
*I always forget to say this, but all the photos of me I post on my blog were taken by Naomi…more about her later.