Thanks, Ms. Hattie!

Just Thinking….

A memory came to mind today that I had spent years trying to NOT think of. It was one of those very embarrassing times…..

Many years ago, our church was having a special reception in the church hall. It was crowded, and everyone was having a great time. Hubs and I were on the far end of the hall, and I left for a while to go the ladies’ room.

Finished, I walked back into the hall and started for the far end. I was chatting along the way, waving at folks that I had not seen in a while. Suddenly the pastor’s wife, Hattie, came up behind me and put her hand on my shoulder. I started to turn around and talk with her, but she said very softly, “Just keep on walking.”

She steered me into a small side room and shut the door. That’s when I learned my transgression. Somehow in the ladies’ room, the bottom of my skirt had become caught into the waistband of my panty hose. I was mortified! Hattie helped me get adjusted. But I did not want to walk back out into that hall. I would rather crawl thru a small window and make a get away than face all those people who probably saw more of me than they bargained for. But there was no small window….. and with Hattie’s encouragement, I went back out to the reception.

Well, our women’s Bible study this morning was about the Samaritan woman at the well, who encountered Jesus. She had had 5 husbands and was currently living with a fellow who was not her husband. Jesus knew all this. He gently helped her see her sin, and then she could adjust to His expectations.

That’s when my memory of that ill-fated reception came to mind. What happened to me with Hattie is indicative of what our God does in our lives. Here I am blithely rolling through life, with not the faintest hint that I am in trouble. Then Jesus shelters me, shows me my sin, helps me overcome, and gives me confidence to live. Embarrassing moment? Hattie behind me? Moment of truth? How wonderful for God to give us little pictures of His grace and mercy.

“All things work together for good….” (Romans 8:28). And that reminds me of Joseph in the Old Testament after his no-good brothers sold him into slavery. He much later encounters his brothers, but now he is in a position of power, and they are afraid of him. Joseph tells them, “You meant this for evil, but God used it for good.”

My little “wardrobe malfunction” embarrassed me for years. All I had to do was think about it, and I would turn red. I know many will say “Big deal,” but to me it WAS a big deal. I am a modest person. But the big question in my mind was WHY WHY WHY? Was there any possible good in this?

Perhaps it was to remind me of Jesus, all these years later. Perhaps it was to give me insight into the Samaritan woman. Perhaps the telling of this incident was to give clarity at today’s Bible study. Whatever the reason, I am grateful that something bad can be used for good. And thank you, Ms. Hattie, for your kindness.

Whether I am blind to my sin, or sinning deliberately with eyes wide open, I am so grateful that You continue to shelter me, to keep me safe and show me my sin. I thank You for gently helping me overcome and turn away. I thank You for giving me confidence to continue in life. You are awesome, Father…..

To God be the Glory….


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