“I think they felt really awkward.”
I whisper to my husband as we walk away from yet another chance encounter during our evening walk downtown.
“You should have ended the conversation sooner.”
I hate awkward. I think we all do.
Awkward people…and I am an awkward person sometimes.
I hate it because I’m uncomfortable.
I hate it because I don’t want the other person to be uncomfortable.
I hate it because…it’s awkward.
And I’m so paranoid of what others will think if I make an awkward thing any more awkward than it already is.
“I know.” He whispers back, “It was awkward. But I want to be okay with that. I want to give them an opportunity to talk.”
“Why? It’s awkward!!!” I said. As if the obvious needed to be pointed out.
And then he talked about how people have value and how you never know if pressing through a little awkwardness could create the space for the breakthrough you need get deeper with someone…to really love them.
We moved here to help start a church, so we orient our lives to be with people, to spend time with people, and to love people where they’re at.
But if I spend the whole time dodging and sidestepping, hoping to never offend or create awkwardness, then will I ever make a difference worth making?
And I could see the little quiver of nervousness lingering in his smile and in the controlled rush of words as he talked. And I felt relieved and frustrated all at once.
Relieved because I’m not the only one who hates the awkward.
Frustrated because if he can push through the awkward and the nervousness for the sake of relationship, for the sake of the gospel, then what excuse do I have?
And I remind myself, wasn’t Jesus awkward? Didn’t He ask the hard questions and say the controversial truths? So what is my excuse?