Do you remember ever being mortified by something your parents did when you were a teenager? Or perhaps expressing, “Gah! I’d be Sooooo mortified, if________.” (fill in the blank) So what circumstances would you say you felt mortified in should they happen to you today? What would cause you humiliation or shame? Think about that for a minute.
This evening I went out to run an errand, it was a fun errand. I was going to get some craft supplies to work on a project. -A big thank you to my sister Melissa for inspiring me and showing me how to make these (pictures of “the project” to come). I love walking through Michaels and could probably spend hundreds of dollars if I had it to spend! Well that and if I had the free time to craft with the hundreds of dollars worth of stuff. But alas I AM making time these next few weeks to put together a few treasures.
So there I was, I lingered through Michaels and spent my $33, but still had to make another stop on my way home at CVS. I was enjoying my solitude and thoughts of fun crafting. . . absolutely NO thoughts were in my head of mortification coming my way.
Then I saw them. Yes THEM. As I left my car and walked in towards CVS I saw a dad with two teenage children in front of the store. Now you might be jumping to a number of conclusions at this point. . . so what was so mortifying you ask? A myriad of circumstances could be playing out for sure.
But this evening the circumstances involve the father holding a sign that said, “Lost my job and we have no money for food. Please help us.” As I walked in the daughter, most likely around the age of 15 said, “Please Mam, can you help us?”
I looked their way and walked in the store as I felt convicted in every cell of my body. In the two minutes I was in the store I knew I had to empty my wallet on my way out. I paid the cashier and pulled out the remaining money I had with me. I turned to the family as I walked out and handed them the money and they thanked me. It appeared the daughter was the only one who spoke much English.
As I walked to my car the normal “feel good” feelings didn’t come. Only the word mortify. I thought of the petty things that might humiliate me and then pondered how a 15 year old girl and her 13 year old brother must feel out in front of a CVS asking for money. I wondered how many days I could go without food until I felt it necessary to beg. I wondered what kind of desperation it might take to be in the humiliating place of asking strangers for money.
In that moment I was mortified – shamed and humbled as I contemplated my own greed, jealousy, and worldly desires. I was reminded that as a Christian I am called “to mortify” or put to death worldly desires. An entirely different view point on the word. So often I dread the word mortify. . . now I’m realizing just how much I need to embrace it.