Amy Van Pay is an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God. She and her husband are AGUSM Missionaries serving as Chaplains to Triathletes in the area of Boulder, CO. They have 3 children: Camden-8, Cale-5, and Ainsley-2 months.
Recently, I had a conversation with my mother about my mother-in-law. She said, “Every time I see her, her make-up and hair look like it was professionally done. She always dresses so nicely. And to be honest, I feel really self-conscious around her.” Then I began to inform her of why she looks that way; how she is so concerned about her self-image, she can’t help but spend all that time and effort on her appearance.
Isn’t that silly? Here are two terrific women around the age of 60, longing to be acceptable to the other, oblivious to the fact that they’re not only accepted, they’re put on some kind of pedestal by the other.
Aren’t we all that way a little? I know in my own life I’ve struggled with this. I meet someone, make an assessment, and either place them up on a pedestal or throw them in a ditch. Either they’re a person I feel I have to earn acceptance from, or someone that, well, they’re just a step or two down from me. It’s not that I don’t like those I put in a ditch. I just somehow reason that I’ve got this relationship in the bag–nothing to be earned here. I know. I’m a jerk. Maybe you’re one too?
It’s times like these we need to take a few steps back and see ourselves for who we really are much of the time: scared little girls. Beneath our big deal lives and responsibilities of womanhood, lies a bright-eyed young lady so unsure how she should behave. By the time she’s put so many on those pedestals, it feels good to put a few in the ditch. It’s only natural.
Here’s what I’ve observed: it isn’t humility that causes us to hoist others up. And it isn’t arrogance that makes us put someone down. In my estimation, there’s one just one little thing in us that’s producing both behaviors: pride. It’s gotta be. What else would make us so entirely concerned with ourselves? When we’re caught up in these so-called assessments, do we ever take the time to consider what we’re doing to that other person? I’ve been held up high, longing for someone to quit assuming I had all the friends in the world and just care about me for a minute. I’ve also been thrown to the side, feeling like their relationship with me is some kind of obligation to them.
So, my fellow Smoking Hot (Little Girls) of the A/G, I’d like to propose we all let each other and ourselves off the hook. Let’s level the playing field and be authentic for a change. After all, what are we afraid of? She’s just a scared little girl too.
written by Amy Van Pay
January 3, 2013
Pedestals, Ditches, and Scared Little Girls