I once attended an outdoor wedding where the guests sat around a fire pit. The rows were elevated and many people had rocks or logs to sit on, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so rustic.
I wasn’t the only one. There was a woman corralling two toddlers while we waited for the ceremony. Her dress was a little too short for her weight. It was way too short for her activity.
I could relate, I was wearing a typical wedding outfit. Where, if you cant your leg to the side–just so, and you suck your gut in–like that, it’s passable. But if you need to cattle rustle…then you are dressed wrong.
I was enjoying the season where I didn’t have to worry about making my kids sit still. The toddler’s play didn’t bother me, I enjoy rambunctiousness.
I noticed movement beside me, directly behind the mom with the too-short skirt and squirley boys.
Another woman and her husband were elbowing each other and ridiculing the chubby mom’s exposure. They even shared several guffaws and eye rolls with their teen daughter. I knew the family from church.
They were not discreet in their pointing judgment and comments. Momentarily, I considered stepping down to tell the mom that her dress had ridden up, but I feared it would cause more shame if she knew. I decided she had enough to worry about. I looked away from the entire scene, because, how do you tell someone their panties are showing?
I must have asked God the question because within a few weeks I stepped out of my car, in a skirt, on a blustery day.
I’d just arrived to teach a little-kid karate class. A family was already waiting in the park nearby. When I stood up, a gust of wind swirled around me. I looked to the family and the dad had jumped up and taken his sons by the hand, they were all facing away from me. It was sudden enough that I knew he’d done it on purpose.
I was thankful for his discretion, sorry for the poor kids, and glad I had thought to wear tights.
But no, it was worse. The mom walked directly over to me and reached to lift something from the back of my car. She gently said, “You’re skirt is tucked in…” and she pulled at the fabric.
It has taken me awhile to see this is a demonstration of 1 Peter 4:8, “love one another deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
God does not hide sin and we shouldn’t either. So what does it mean to cover?
When she pulled my skirt, she covered my shame rather than ridiculed it, looked away, or thanked God that it wasn’t her own shame showing.
So that’s what you do when someone’s panties are showing. Not tell her that she is exposed, but help cover. And if she has no skirt to pull down, you can spread yours across her lap.