Over the years I’ve had a number of wardrobe malfunctions – like the time I was on an escalator in the World Trade Center during rush hour. I tripped over something as I stepped off and looked down to discover my skirt wrapped around my ankles. Apparently, the clasp came undone and it just slid down without me noticing. Thank goodness slips were still in vogue at the time – it could have been ugly. In typical New York fashion, I just hitched it up without skipping a beat. I had no choice; the crowd would have trampled me. No one even noticed. At least that’s what I told myself as I continued walking with one hand holding up my skirt.
This week’s incident wasn’t nearly as dramatic, but embarrassing nonetheless. I arrived at the health club for a Pilates class and while chatting with some instructors, they noticed something on the floor by my feet. One of them commented with a bewildered look, “Is that someone’s underwear?” I glanced down and immediately recognized my favorite granny pants. Oh yes, not a cute, lacy pair of underwear, but the kind that could double as a parachute in an emergency. I immediately felt my butt, as if the underwear in question were somehow able to defy the laws of physics and fall off my body with my pants still on. It was just so surreal. What was my underwear doing on the floor of the gym, and why did I admit they were mine? Puzzled, I hastily stuffed them in my pocket as if this were an everyday occurrence. Oopsie! When I relayed the story to a friend, she laughed and told me she had something similar happen to her. So what’s the lesson?
- Never take your workout pants from the dryer without checking for static cling.
- Nothing beats the reassurance of hearing a friend say, ‘me too.’
Though lesson number one is not something I will easily forget, it is the second one that resonated deeply. There is nothing more comforting than when someone says with a nod of understanding, ‘me too.’ There’s that flood of relief and the thought, “Thank goodness, I thought it was just me.” Knowing there is someone who understands what you’re going through makes any burden seem lighter (or embarrassing moment funnier). It’s the basis of any support group, friendship or fellowship of any kind. People seek solace from those who can relate to their situation.
Jesus came to save us, yes; but an important aspect of Him stooping to our level was to share in our humanity so that we could have in Him the ultimate, divine ‘me too’ friend. He may have never had to contend with the embarrassment of a wardrobe malfunction, but there isn’t anything you face that He hasn’t experienced: humiliation, suffering, pain, temptations of every kind, betrayal, injustice, loss, isolation, rejection, disgrace, persecution, indifference, even family issues. Try explaining that your Dad’s really God. No wonder His brothers initially thought he was having delusions of grandeur.
Regardless of how alone you may feel, Christ is always ready to come alongside you with a knowing and loving ‘me too’ to offer solace, support, strength, encouragement, and compassion. But, as always, we have to choose to let Him.