Thursday, December 06, 2007

How'd She Do That?

Last week I posted about delivering with confidence; this week, confidence delivers.
(Link to previous photo of Belle's crown)

In 1963, I was hired fresh out of college for a four month job to begin to build a Christian education program for a small church in my hometown. There was nothing in the budget for someone like me, but they decided they would just do without new landscaping for a while and pay me with money set aside for shrubbery. It was an interesting job with lots of enthusiasm from the congregation since they wanted to get as much benefit of my four year degree as they could before I left for my long term job in another state.

I worked with children, youth and adults. I worked with the pastor. And I worked with the church secretary. The children were fun. The youth were demanding. The adults were receptive. The pastor was energetic. The secretary was office equipment challenged; um, socially challenged; um, deadline challenged.

This week, I read about that same church secretary who I remember as the fumbly little office worker who always jammed the folding machine and barely made the last bus on Fridays when doing the Sunday programs, the odd little woman who always had a new little joke which didn't always seem funny, the strange little lady who seemed to know secrets beyond anyone else's comprehension.

This week, at 88, she put on her fanciest dress and her brightest lipstick. She glowed with confidence as she quoted poetry and told a few jokes. She snowed the judges and surprised everyone else at the senior citizen's beauty pageant as she took the crown.

Was this the secret I felt hidden just under the surface years ago? Did she know all this time that she wasn't really inept and out of step? Did she know that she was just misplaced and waiting for the right moment to blossom?

I have been wondering how many others are like the church secretary: just in the wrong place without the courage to be who they really are; just living without the confidence to share their secret. Whatever the reason it suddenly appeared in my old friend, it worked.

Confidence delivers.


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