Epic ‘F-bomb’ fail – humiliation and grace

I'm quite certain I looked even more stunned than this...

I’m quite certain I looked even more stunned than this…

I have the privilege of being the administrator of my church’s Facebook page, something that is super exciting and valuable to me.
I get to engage members in a personal way, pulling valuable nuggets from the sermons on Sunday, posting photos and reminders of ‘what’s happening’ and even wish people a warm ‘happy birthday’ from their beloved church.
While it’s not a major thing, it’s just another way for our church members to participate and interact and feel the love of their family in Christ.
And I love it.
But last weekend, near and perceived catastrophe struck me as that Facebook admin. It was a worst-case scenario for me, something I NEVER would have imagined.
It happened so fast, I can’t tell you for sure exactly HOW it happened.
The men in our church were having a wild-game feed/Christmas decoration hauling party which had been cleverly entitled “Duck the Halls.”
Since I was not going to be able to be there to snap a picture or two for our page, I thought I’d invite the men, via Facebook, to post their own pictures of Duck the Halls.
The post was supposed to read something like this: Hey men, post your pics from Duck the Halls right here on our page!
As I was typing said post from my phone, my eyes revealed that by some evil act of Satan himself, the word ‘duck’ had either been autocorrected or outright mistyped to say, well, another word.
The mother of all words.
As in, if you look at your keyboard, the letter F is right there next to the letter D.
In my panic to erase that shocking, horrifying, jaw-dropping, unholiest of words off of my very holy and baptist church’s Facebook post, my fumbly fingers missed the backspace and hit the SEND button.

And quicker than Ralphie in the Christmas Story could say fudge, I, my church Facebook admin, instructed the men and 871 Facebook friends to ‘F the halls.’

Oh. My. Gosh.

church ladyDon’t send!
Don’t post!
I was in a crowded classroom at the church and had to have made quite a scene in my panic. I’m certain there was stuttering and stammering and a red face and wild eyes.
You can’t delete a post from an iphone!
Baptist grandmas everywhere were surely dropping their teacups and covering their mouths in horror.
I could hear the gasps coming from all over the city, the world.
Angels stopped singing in heaven, I know it.
Within seconds I flew down the stairs to find someone, anyone with a computer I could use.
And within minutes, I was able to log on and delete the post.
But not before one person replied ‘Uhhhh … autocorrect fail?’
I tried to convince myself she was the only one who had seen.
But she was not. Lord have mercy, she was not.
I wanted to crawl into a hole and never be seen or heard from again.
For a second, I considered just resigning my volunteer post as the Facebook admin on the off chance I wasn’t about to be fired.
I swiftly hammered out an apologetic email to my pastor who, to my relief, very graciously accepted and generously forgave, even admitting that the snafu caused a bit of a chuckle.
While it’s something I can look back at and chuckle, in that moment, I was momentarily transported back to a junior-high like fear and humiliation, the kind of feeling that would prompt a girl NEVER to show her face THERE again.
But thankfully, I had confidence that this — even this — yes, dropping the F-bomb on the church facebook page, was forgivable.
I knew there would be grace.
I could count on it because my church is a place where there is true Christian love and mercy.
I had confidence that I would be loved and forgiven. And that’s a great feeling.
Because truth is, that may not be the case in other circles. In other circles, there may have been whispers and gossip, anger and outrage – even contempt and, well, more cuss words.
It IS a serious offense. I am entrusted with my church’s image. That’s a huge trust.
And I would never purposely violate it. And for a moment, 871 people saw MY CHURCH saying the F word. In type.
But thankfully, this body of believers, these brothers and sisters in Christ didn’t call for my public stoning. I’m truly grateful for that.
And that’s what’s awesome about God’s family.
They love at all times. We have a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
And, we are made in the image and likeness of a God who can appreciate irony and humor, even when someone drops the f-bomb on the church Facebook page.
Thanks for loving me anyway, friends.

About Melissa Smith



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