The question is not a new one, but there are many reasons it is continually asked.
Today I lived several of them.
My energetic son was obviously aching for some quality time at the park, and given that fall has found its way here once again and my husband had the day off, our little family embarked on an adventure together. I packed a picnic lunch and donned some workout clothes so I could take advantage of an opportunity to take a walk while the boys played together.
I should take a second to clarify how said workout apparel looked on this nearly six-months pregnant body of mine. None of what I was wearing was maternity. I dug to the bottom of my drawer and found the lone pair of athletic shorts that fit enough to be considered appropriate, though far from flattering on even my non-expectant body. I took a few extra seconds to find a longer, larger t-shirt and stretched it over my swollen middle. I took exactly five seconds to look in the mirror after getting dressed – enough time to realize that this shirt is fitting even weirder than it did last time. I also noted that my ponytail, which I threw into existence at 6:30 A.M. while I was still half asleep needed tending. Simultaneously, my son ran naked through the house after going potty before we left, so I threw an extra clip in the general bangs area of my head, grabbed his clothes and wrestled to get him dressed while my husband beckoned us to hurry up and get in the car.
If you don’t have a clear enough mental picture at this point, then trust me when I say that I have full faith in the idea that I was not looking all that put together. I pushed this fact aside and decided to focus on the fact that I was actually going to get some exercise in this beautiful weather at one of my favorite parks in the city.
And that’s just what I did. I gave father and son time to run, wrestle, and slide together while I puttered around the track. I returned to them, winded and feeling those Braxton Hicks contractions flaring up in congratulations for completing this rare feat of pregnancy exercise. To celebrate, we took some time to enjoy our lunch before hitting the playground again.
As soon as we turned around to greet the slides, I saw him. Smiling with his expensive news station video camera while recording a dad and his daughter playing. We quickly moved to another part of the playground, but it was as if the trio of father, daughter, and journalist were following us.
I took the opportunity to park it on a bench and rest my still-contracting stomach muscles while the camera man took in footage of my husband looking like the hero that he is, pushing his son on the swing next to another model father with his daughter. I felt awkward, self-conscious, unsure what to do to NOT attract attention to myself. I finally decided to pull my phone out of the bag and text my scenario to a friend. That would take my attention off the camera guy who was obviously eating up this scene of dads with their kids at the park on a glorious autumn morning. Instead, I glanced up to see him zooming the camera in on me.
In horror, I asked him to please stop filming me seeing as how I hadn’t even taken time to fix my hair that day. He acted a bit embarrassed and said he’d move to the side so I wouldn’t know he was there. I put down my phone and watched the kids play some more, but kept feeling that camera guy hovering a few feet away. He eventually moved to some other park attenders, and I sighed a relieved sigh. Those moms at least looked put together in their cute little outfits and styled hair. I pulled out my phone again to finish the text I started earlier, and like a sniper, the camera guy was targeting me again in a flash.
What on earth is up with this guy?!? Out of all the people in this park, playing happily together, why would he single out this obviously pregnant woman who was trying ever so hard to look boring and uninterested in being a part of any news cast.
It was about this time that my unsuspecting husband asked him what he was getting footage for. He admitted, rather sheepishly, that he was doing a piece on texting and parenting. Seeing as how I was the only parent with a phone out, because someone was already watching my child mind you, he was trying to catch me being the evil parent who portrays to the rest of the greater metropolitan area in which I live, what an alarming trend is taking over our nation with parents not being aware of their children’s actions because they’re too engrossed in texting.
I was mortified beyond the level that I had already felt when I learned this. When we began dialoguing about it, he acknowledged that he knew what was happening in my case was completely acceptable, but he needed footage to prove his point.
Ouch! Talk about feeling used and misinterpreted. I have seen first-hand the issue he was trying to capture, and I believe it is a good story, but the humbling part was being used to represent something that I do not do when I’m alone at the park with my son.
I have been struck with the very real truth that I am to never be caught off guard as a Christian. No one else saw my morning, knew my motives, or even witnessed the good things I did as a mom leading up to that moment. The worst part was, the journalist scrutinizing me didn’t care. He just needed my one innocent act as evidence to prove his point, and he was willing to misrepresent me to do it, regardless of what it could do to my reputation.
I hold no hard feelings against the reporter. I talked to him for quite a while, off camera of course, and told him that I thought his story was a good one. So when I share the verse that won’t leave my head as I continue to mull over today’s events, don’t think I believe him to be in any way evil.
Having given that disclaimer, here is the verse I can’t get out of my head:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Books should not be completely judged by their covers, in my opinion, but the fact is, human nature does it automatically. That’s why it’s my job to do two important things:
1. Live in such a way that I have no reason to be ashamed or cause another to stumble.
2. Give myself a break when it’s easier to be super sensitive about what others might think of me when I know I’m bringing honor to God. He is the only One whose judgment counts.
If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.