Self-Consciousness Examined

It was asked during a Bible class today,
In response to Pastor exhorting us to say a hearty Amen in praise of God,
What happens if we are the only one that says it loudly.
Will we be the odd one out?
Will people judge us for it?

The answer came,
That a child who runs
To greet his father
Excitedly shrieking “Daddy~”
Did not stop to think
Whether anyone will think him

He did it out of
Sincere love for the father,
From a heart of
Child-like innocence
And purity.

Has this innocence been lost
As we grow older?

I wondered this as I
Subconsciously checked myself from
Verbalizing my agreement.
Maybe it has.

This constant feeling of self-consciousness
Controls our words and our actions:
What will people think of me?
How will they think about me?

Just today
I saw this boy whom I knew from DVBS.
I remembered him,
But he didn’t remember him.
Without thought,
And with lots of enthusiasm,
I ran up to say hi
To the boy.
The boy stared blankly at me,
The mother got a little worried.
“Do we know you?”

Sense returned,
Shame prevailed.
With cheeks flushed in red,
I quickly explained
And even more quickly
Exited to save myself more embarrassment.

For the next half an hour,
My mind pondered this chance meeting,
And I knew not where to hide my face.
Shame lingered.

The sense of shame comes
When wrong has been done.
But what wrong have I done,
To feel shame?
Why did I feel shame for
Being glad to see familiar faces?

I silently chided myself
For being foolish,
(Now they will think you’re crazy)
And yet,
I did it in innocent childlikeness,
If you would allow this expression.

But, this is not valued nowadays.
Or perhaps it is valued
And merely silently cherished,
As we reserve it for that person
Or that inner circle of friends.
With them, and them alone,
Will we act with that freeness
From gnawing self-consciousness.

I guess it won’t change anytime soon.
Should we try?
I might.

(Yep, and once you post this, people will think you’re crazy.)

Or not.

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