Wipe That Smug Look off Your Face

I love the reflection off Lake Basement in the morning.

“Wipe that smug look off your face” was one of my father’s go-to sayings. I hated to be humbled. Still do. But my heavenly father is also in the humbling business, so I’ve learned to, well, not like it, but at least learn from it.

We’ve had constant flood warnings lately, in the midst of the worst thunder storms in years. Still, I chuckle complacently when the alarms go off because we live on one of the highest hills in Cincinnati (named for Cincinnatus, hero of Rome, city of the seven hills). So, no flooding, right?

Wrong. Because…

Basements. I was sitting down to post something profound this morning (to the world’s great deprivation, I don’t even remember what it was), when my wife, who normally speaks in full, eloquent sentences, shouted, “Honey! Basement! Flood!”

So, now, several unscheduled emergency clean-up hours later, I’m posting about my basement instead. What’s the take-away? Well, for starters: compassion. Our little inconvenience is infinitely small compared to what those who experience real disasters endure, the sudden erasure of everything they thought was permanent: their homes, their community, their lives.

God, I hate to be humbled, but I know real life experiences teach us more than newspapers or television coverage ever could. Help me never to lose my empathy, my connection to others. To remember to step up and inconvenience the hell out of myself whenever the need–the privilege–of helping others arises. In short, thanks for the reminder.

And sorry about the smugness.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Wipe That Smug Look off Your Face

  1. Great line: “Our little inconvenience is infinitely small compared to what those who experience real disasters endure.”

    “Here beside the news of holy war and holy need / Ours is just a little sorrowed talk.” Duran Duran

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sorry about the flooding in your basement, Mitch. That’s a Bummer! Did your dad say, “I’ll give you something to cry about,” too? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. dawnlizjones says:

    “…to step up and inconvenience the hell out of myself whenever the need–the privilege–of helping others arises.” A very apt quote. Southern MO is getting it as I type this. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ekurie says:

    My (I hope but I doubt –only) basement flood experience: my dad had been transferred from our home in NC to NY. We lived in a southern New Jersey suburb. I was visiting a friend back home that first summer. A hurricane bounced its way up the coast to My Father’s Basement. I missed the whole thing. They never let me live it down. Upshot? Dad installed a sump pump.

    Very humbling, and I wasn’t even there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wayne says:

    Yeah…humble pie can be tough to eat, sir. But it’s too good for us to throw away. Good stuff 👍👍!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wayne says:

    Reblogged this on Jesus @ the Center and commented:
    We take so much for granted…this blog is a great reminder that many have it worse than we do. Check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. BelleUnruh says:

    Your posts make me laugh, learn and feel compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m sorry you and your wife are having to deal with that 😦 Happy Saturday?
    Thank you for entertaining us all by your writing even still 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. fefeeley412 says:

    That sucks, man. Hope you get the mess straightened up.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Our cellar floods occasionally, too, it’s a right nuisance. Hope you get it sorted sharpish.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So I am wondering if this post is actual better than the one you were thinking of writing. Sorry it took a flood to get it written.

    Liked by 1 person

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