It was an exceptionally long road trip, speaking and singing sixteen times in nineteen days, and I was tiring of putting makeup on again and again. On the next to the last day, I just sloppily threw on the “paint” and headed out the door to the women’s event. Knowing I had three thousand miles behind me with about a thousand driving miles left to go, I'm positive I was looking rather road-worn. My host for the women’s event hugged me and said, “Boy, you look tired.” Then a few other women asked, “Sue, are you sure you’re OK?”
I became very suspicious when a young gal pulled me aside and said, “Can I pray for you? You don’t look right.” Of course I said I would so appreciate her prayers, but I felt fine. I decided to go to the ladies room, to check the mirror and see for myself what others were seeing. I gasped when I saw my face! In a tired stupor that morning, I put dark brown/black eye pencil around my lips, and bright burgundy red lip pencil around my EYES! I looked like a freak show! Try it sometime. You’ll see what I mean!
After the laughs subsided and the group in the women’s restroom gathered around me, one woman spoke up and said, “Well, we know now for sure, Sue—you’re our kind of people!” We all burst out in laughter.
One of the best tools of “connecting” is admitting your faults and confessing your inadequacies to each other. I know a lot of women in leadership who—if something ever went wrong or if they lost control of a moment or experienced a random form of embarrassment—would pretty much be done in. That’s sad. My theory is this:
1. You never look any better to others than when you’re able to laugh at yourself!
2. Some of the greatest opportunities for witness—and being the fragrance of Christ—is to let others see how you would react to an unexpected moment.
John C. Maxwell’s new book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, is a must-read for every leader. I was honored to be a contributing writer to this work (pg. 59), simply because I so believe in connection. The connection in the women’s restroom that day, laughing hysterically over the eye/lip pencil mishap, still goes down as one of my favorite “speaking” assignments. Random acts are what life is really all about!
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