SBC Life Articles




Talk about embarrassing! IT WAS EMBARRASSING! “Come on!” I thought. “Don’t these people know this elevator makes more than one trip per day—that it and the three other elevators will come back up if they miss this one?”

Our girls were with their grandparents. Waylon and I were staying in a fifty-story high-rise downtown hotel at the SBC annual meeting. Our room was on the thirty-somethingth floor.

We got in the elevator and headed down to breakfast before jetting off to the convention. It was comfortably filled when we entered, but after stopping on what seemed like every floor, it quickly became very uncomfortable. I grew tired of standing like a penguin with my arms pinned to my side, so I carefully slipped my arm up and placed my hand on my husband Waylon’s shoulder. Though we were packed in like sardines, it was still good to be away together, just the two of us.

We moved to the next floor picking up more passengers. By this time I had checked the weight capacity of the elevator that was prominently posted on the wall, and according to my estimation we had way exceeded the limit. Just as I finished my calculation I looked across the elevator, and much to my dismay noticed Waylon smiling at me.

I looked at him, then down at my hand, and back at him. Realizing that I had had my hand on another man’s shoulder for several minutes, I panicked! Boy was I glad that I had not squeezed What’s His Name’s shoulder affectionately—those little love signals you give that no one else sees or understands.

I had my hand on another woman’s husband’s shoulder and she was standing right beside him! I was so hoping that she hadn’t noticed. After all, shouldn’t a woman’s husband be safe at the Southern Baptist Convention, for crying out loud? But rest assured, What’s His Name had noticed. He was standing as lifeless as a statue, but his face was glowing like a 150-watt light bulb—much like mine.

So what was I to do? My mind was working at warp speed. I thought perhaps I might handle it in such a way that only the three of us—Waylon, me, and What’s His Name—would know. Jerking my hand off his shoulder would be the worst thing to do. So, trying not to call attention to the situation, I decided to lift one finger at a time thinking that perhaps he wouldn’t even realize what was happening.

That actually went pretty well, but there was one problem—once I had lifted all my fingers, how was I to get my hand back down by my side? In robot fashion I lifted my hand, and in right angle moves finally got it back down by my side where it belonged.

Now I know you are wondering how Waylon and I got separated. It beats me! That happened twenty years ago and I still haven’t figured it out. How it happened I don’t know, but trust me it did happen, and it wasn’t the least bit funny, not to me anyway.

Waylon, on the other hand, was having a field day! What he was witnessing was better than anything he had ever seen on ESPN. To make matters worse, when I glanced over at him he had the nerve to wink at me as if to say, “You go, girl!”

I thought to myself, “If I were close enough I’d do something I have never done—I’d slap that silly grin right off your face!”

Not wanting to call anyone else’s attention to the little episode going on in the elevator, though, I resorted to a “read my lips” form of communication. Without making a sound I said, “I am going to kill you!” (I’d like to think I didn’t mean it, but I’m not sure.)

We finally made it to the lobby after what seemed like two days (probably a couple of minutes), and after careful consideration I decided that the best thing to do was to forget any kind of explanation and just get out of there hoping to never set eyes on this Baptist preacher ever again.

Dream on sister! Everywhere we went that whole week he was there. He would blush and so would I. And did he stop going to subsequent annual meetings of the convention? Noooo! I had to relive that whole experience every year.

Years later Waylon went to the SBC alone. When he got home, he said, “Martha, you have really done it this time. You know the little preacher you were hitting on in the elevator? You caused him to change denominations. He’s not Baptist anymore. He’s Presbyterian.”

What’s the point of telling you this story? To make you laugh. Did I succeed? Studies have proven that a good laugh has great health benefits. Proverbs 17:22 says, A cheerful heart is good medicine. What have you done that would give your family or your coworkers a good laugh today? Come on! Remember, it’s good medicine.

Dear God, Often we take ourselves much too seriously. Sometimes things happen and all we can do is laugh. Thank You that You use certain experiences in our lives to serve as medicine for our souls. I pray that You can use this boo boo of mine to lift someone’s spirit today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


    About the Author

  • Martha Bailey