What the Bible Doesn’t Say After All to Awkward Moments

Since the day in 2013 when I wrote a post called What the Bible Says to Awkward Moments – which wasn’t a top-notch post, but did at least have a picture of some penguins in it – I’ve been conducting a small private investigation into the whole world’s Google-searching.

The world.

The world.

What the casual observer may not realise, you see, is that if anyone stumbles on a WordPress site via a search engine, WordPress will record the fact, and let the blogger know what the reader was searching for. Mostly, this comes up as ‘Unknown Search Term’, I suppose because the search engines are protecting your privacy. Kind of.

Got questions? (xkcd.com/1256)

But some of the search terms are not Unknown. Some of them are as follows.

word awkward in the bible

bible awkwardness

bible verses for socially awkward people

bible verse for awkward moments

what the bible says about feeling awkward

awkwardness in the bible

what does the bible say about awkwardness

what does the bible say about awkwardness

what does the bible say about awkwardness

what does the bible say about awkwardness

what does the bible say about awkwardness

what does the bible say about awkwardness

what the bible says about awkwardness

what the bible says about awkwardness

what the bible says about awkwardness

what the bible says about awkwardness

awkward moments in the bible

awkward moments in the bible

awkward moments in the bible

what does the bible say abput akwardnesss

where in the bible does it talk about being awkward?

scripture dealing with awkward moments

what does the biblw say about awekwardnesa

what does the bible ssy about feeling ackward

what does the bible say about feeling ackward

biblical thoughts on awkward moments

feeling awkward in the bible

awkwarrdness bible

a bible verse about awkwardness can change

what jesus says about awkwardness

what does god says about awkwardness

what does the bible say about awkward moments

the word awkward in the bible

Even considering that some of those people might be youth pastors looking for sermon illustrations, that’s a lot of awkwardness. Or perhaps I should say awekwardnesa.

Arguably, they’re all holding things together more successfully than the person looking for “words that rhymes with frog”.

Arguably, they’re all holding things together more successfully than the person looking for “words that rhymes with frog”.

So what exactly, when we asked what the Bible said about awkward moments, were we all expecting to find?

Blessed are the socially awkward, for their good intentions shall be obvious to all, despite the infelicities of their behaviour.

And the Lord said to Jeremiah: “Go to the people of Israel and tell them: you have been socially awkward, you have put your foot in it on numerous occasions; nevertheless I will have mercy on you, and remember your awkwardness no more….”

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now being perfected by your flawless social skills?

What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. Those who have social skills should live as though they did not, those who do not as though they did, those who are socially awkward as though they were not…

And I looked, and I saw in heaven the socially awkward. And they bowed down before the one who sits on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, who understood that it was impossible for them to say exactly what they meant. And what they did say was very awkward, but the four living creatures said “Amen” anyway and the elders fell down and worshipped.

One day, perhaps, when I am extremely knowledgeable and wise and have time on my hands and really don’t care about anachronism, there will appear on this blog a full, detailed, stupendously intelligent account of the Bible’s representation of, response to and recommendations for social awkwardness. I will call these the three R’s, and awkward Christians everywhere will pick up the mats of their former embarrassment and go out walking and leaping and praising God.

Like these penguins.

Like these penguins.

But in the meantime, everyone is presumably thinking that (as well as being very blasphemous and irreverent) I’m paying undue attention to a few random people’s random Internet searches. Nobody in real life expects to stumble upon one magic verse giving a comprehensive Biblical solution to whatever the problem is. And nobody has the problem, obviously, that shyness, or introvertedness, or self-criticism, or criticism of everything else, or doubts about what to say, or the firm conviction of having said the wrong thing, or whatever else, or whatever else, is making post-service chit-chat completely draining. And nobody else is ever wrong-footed in their attempts to ‘connect’ or ‘fellowship’ by the unfortunate fact that the first person clammed up, didn’t know the script, or went home before the service was over. Surely all our churches are extremely well-regulated and such difficulties never arise.

*tumbleweed*

*tumbleweed*

Here are some more Known Search Terms.

lone ranger christian

lone ranger christian

lone ranger christian

lone ranger christian

lone ranger christian

lone ranger christian

danger of lone ranger christianity

christians that don’t go to church

being a lone ranger christian

loneranger christian

lone christian

lone christian

lone christian

johnnythebaptist.com/ lone ranger christians?

rhymes of lone ranger

there are to many lone ranger christain

you can be a lone ranger christian

lone ranger churches

to be a lone ranger christian

“lone rangers” in a church

Youth pastors again, I suppose.

Another mystery person wanted to know ‘what proportion of ciccu exec stay evangelical?’ … For this I have no words. I also cannot provide Facts For Kids about Arthur Scherbius, and I don’t know the size of a fully grown mome rath.

Another mystery person wanted to know ‘what proportion of ciccu exec stay evangelical?’ … For this I have no words. I also cannot provide Facts For Kids about Arthur Scherbius, and I don’t know the size of a fully grown mome rath.

We really don’t need Paul or the Evangelists or any of the Major or Minor prophets to confirm our suspicion that social awkwardness is no more of a crime than skateboarding is. Awkwardness is OK, and we should have realised this at school during those assemblies we had about Equality and Diversity. Of course, awkwardness does inevitably make social situations, like church, rather difficult. But we should do what we can to address this fact, not necessarily by trying to get rid of the awkwardness, but by altering, where possible, the details of the difficult situations, as when a teacher scrambles to get a pair of left-handed scissors to a child making a pig’s ear of his worksheet with a pair of right-handed ones, since left-handedness also is OK, just a bit inconvenient when the appropriate scissors are not forthcoming.

Ned Flanders to the rescue.

Ned Flanders to the rescue.

So maybe the solution is to market a range of funky-looking T-shirts and hoodies with such slogans as “AWKWARD BUT FRIENDLY”, “DOING MY BEST”, “UP FOR TALKING, JUST SHY”, and “FROM THE OVERFLOW OF THE HEART THE MOUTH WOULD SPEAK IF THE MOUTH WAS A BIT BETTER AT THAT KIND OF THING”. If nothing else, all Awkward Christians could easily identify each other, and get a kind of informal support network going. We could have a secret handshake, which would be a good firm dependable handshake, perfect for letting both persons know that they did exactly the right thing putting their hands out, and didn’t interrupt a private conversation and altogether are extremely welcome on the relevant patch of carpet. The Awkward Christians Club would concede the suitability, for some of its members, of dimly lit rooms, crowdedness and background music; at other times, for the sake of others, it would insist on natural light and quiet spaciousness. The Awkward Christians Club would regularly relocate to the park or the pub or wherever else its members suggested. And the first rule of the Awkward Christians Club is that, whatever happens, no-one will think any the worse of you.

Anyway, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, my left-handed metaphor was not too far off:

awkward (adj.) mid-14c., “in the wrong direction,” from awk “back-handed” + adverbial suffix -weard (see -ward). Meaning “clumsy” first recorded 1520s. Related: Awkwardly. Other formations from awk, none of them surviving, were awky, awkly, awkness.

And there remains one small shout-out to be made. Of all the searchable English Bible versions on biblegateway.com, one actually contains one instance of the word ‘awkward’: the Amplified Bible, in Exodus 4:10. This makes the Amplified Bible, in this respect, a fraction more in touch with Young People Today even than The Message. A complimentary T-shirt will shortly be dispatched, by way of congratulation.

When you accidentally borrowed your last four words from J. D. Salinger... Pretty awkward. The End.

When you accidentally borrowed your last four words from J. D. Salinger… Pretty awkward. The End.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Blogging, Church and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s