humility & humor

Humility. We all should have it but few of us do. 

As many of you know, I walk the mile to work whenever I can. Since it is a straight shot, I read as I walk. I'm pretty good at that whole peripheral vision thing. Until today.

Let me begin here. I found this prayer during my weekly hour a few Fridays back:

I've worked on increasing humility (or decreasing pride) before. With quite humorous results. And as I'm leading a group of teens through The Screwtape Letters this summer, I thought I'd get a bit ahead and begin rereading today. I found this excerpt from the 1961 preface quite appropriate. Lewis. Discussing the popular reception of the book, he writes:

Sometimes [the book] is bought for even more humiliating reasons. A lady whom I knew discovered that the pretty little probationer who filled her hot-water bottle in the hospital had read Screwtape. She also discovered why.

"You see," said the girl, "we were warned that at interviews, after the real, technical questions are over, matrons and people somtimes ask about your general interests. The best thing is to say you've read something. So they gave us a list of about ten books that usually go down pretty well and said that we ought to read at least one of them."

"And you chose Screwtape?"

"Well, of course, it was the shortest."

So just as I finish reading Lewis' comments on the need for appropriate humility and the ability to laugh at oneself, my shins come into fierce contact with something sharp, painful, and clearly more stationary than I.

Before I know it, my shins are planted and my body catapults ahead, my huge black workbag (stylish though it may be) circles like a black rainbow over my head and crashes onto a platform, where I dare say, my upper body has now also landed. Dazed, I look around me.

I've walked directly and confidently into a loading ramp extending from a moving truck. Broad daylight. 6 houses from my own. For all the world to see. The sound of my body and bag meeting the ramp echoes down the road. No one could have missed it.

The book is still in my hand. I know immediately that two very large eggs are forming on my shins, the likes of which I have not seen since 1st grade recess. I regain my composure, look around, and step over the ramp to continue my walk into work.

By the time I get to the office, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. Then, I bump my left shin in precisely the same spot, and I cry. While laughing.

So of course, I had to tell everybody.

Cheers to your shins and how reliable they are!



  1. Too funny! Talk about a dose of humility!

  2. Hi Jennifer. I've been sending the link to your one-car household story constantly. What a great post!

    I wrote to you with the guest post you wanted. I sent it maybe a month ago. ?? I haven't heard from you, so I want to be sure you have received it. Please let me know either way, okay?

    This post absolutely made me smile. What a kick.


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