Too Much Information
By Jane Thornton –
Publicly, I don’t like to admit the possession of the baser bodily functions.
A howl of protest and laughter echoes across the miles as my family reads that claim, but remember I said publicly. Although I take some pride in being open and frank, contrarily, I also enjoy the ability to maintain the feminine facade of a southern lady.
Perhaps this inclination derives from the many stories of our close family friend, Aunt Susie. At a party one evening, she had consumed three glasses of Pepsi. A man watched in fascination and exclaimed, “How does your bladder handle that?”
Straight-faced and batting her blue eyes, Aunt Susie drawled in her best Scarlett O’Hara voice, “In the South, we don’t have those.”
My desire for privacy and knack for denial was recently challenged in the classroom. On a day-to-day basis, I easily fit my restroom requirements into the stringent schedule of a high school teacher. However, my aging digestive tract has grown a bit temperamental of late, demanding attention at the oddest times.
After only fifteen minutes of a fifty-minute class, in the middle of a very interactive lesson, a cramp struck. As any experienced teacher can do, I carried on without a hitch, thrusting the pain to the back of my mind.
Nature would not be ignored. A sense of urgency shortened my breath. No way could I last till the end of the period. The new goal became to finish the activity and set my students to work independently. Twelve vocabulary words to go.
I perched on the edge of a student desk. I circumspectly practiced Lamaze breathing. Could the nearby students hear my noisy intestines? Sitting wasn’t helping.
I hopped to my feet. Six more words to go. I began to pace. A cold sweat—um, I mean glow—broke out on my brow. I swung my arms. Definitions spewed forth. I stopped giving examples. Forget about student interaction; I gave them answers.
I dashed for the door. The lock pulled me up short. Fumbling, I made it out and sprinted. “Write some sentences!” My vague instructions floated over my shoulder.
Business finished, I returned sheepishly to class. As I entered, a precious teenager, who obviously does not share my inhibitions, called out, “Miss, did you have to go bo-bo?”
“Let’s talk about research.” Class resumed.
At such moments, I tend to question God’s plan. Creative, omnipotent . . . He could have designed our bodies with a waste disposal system that was pleasant, or better yet, no waste at all. This episode set me pondering His purpose. Why are parts of life so messy?
Sometimes I think our bodies remind us that we are all equal. “Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2 NIV). That’s not all we have in common!
When humiliation reverberates through my system, I think perhaps He designed such a system to keep us in our place. “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20-21 NIV).
Comment Prompt: Share an embarrassing moment – even better, one that taught you a lesson.