“Awkwardness is an invitation to be found. It’s an invitation to vulnerability, and vulnerability is where intimacy and connection are born. It’s also an invitation to throw yourself on the grace that makes vulnerability possible at all. At the end of the day, awkward people are the only kind of people God loves; because awkward people are the only kind of people there are.” - Sammy Rhodes
I love the above quote from one of our RUF campus ministers, Sammy Rhodes (University of South Carolina). I love it because it is so true! (Remember: “bad books lie, good books always tell the truth, especially about the human condition”- Walker Percy). I have had so many moments in my life where awkwardness reigned. There have been the what’s-that-smell awkward moments. There have been the walk-up-on-a private conversation awkward moments. There was that moment just this week where my voice carried a bit too much regarding an officiating blunder at my daughter’s 12U basketball game. Awkward! Someday we might actually find it cathartic to share our stories of awkwardness with one another; if for no other reason than to prick the balloon and say, “Yeah, me too!”
But beyond the (awkward) truth about humanity that is highlighted, is the (awesome) Gospel hope that is hinted at. For in the end God loves awkward people! This is the astonishing, mind-blowing, upside down, nature of the Gospel … For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:25). Paul goes on to say … “not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29) It sure sounds like God does love the awkward people to me!
So don’t waste your awkwardness. Embrace it! “It may be the very place you learn to be vulnerable and thus experience the grace of God” (Rhodes), from the foyer, to the basketball court, to our dinner tables, and even in our own hearts before the Lord!