Tough Crowd

I was invited to go and speak at a chapel service at a prestigious girls’ boarding school on Sunday and I found myself saying yes, although I think it was probably one of the contributing factors of the migraine that pretty much blew Saturday night out of the water.  I was once a girl who had to go to chapel, and I know the den of lions it is for a visiting speaker.  Even worse, my husband had spoken there two weeks ago and from what I understand from the chaplain had all 450 pupils eating out of his hand from his first joke.  He is funny.  And good looking.  So I do get it.  But hard to follow.

I was speaking about faith and depression, and I was more nervous than I’ve been doing anything for ages.  Their pale, spotty faces looked back at me with total blankness, and I focussed my attention on a smiley teacher halfway up on the left, desperately heading for the conclusion like a pirate on a plank.  When they filed out at the end no one said hello or even looked at me except one parent and the headmistress.

The really great thing about it was that I survived! Teenage girls just can’t get to me in the same way they could when I was one.  And I know that behind some of those blank expressions is some misery, that perhaps will have been a tiny bit comforted by what I said- that makes it worth it.

Have you done anything that scared you and come out alive lately?

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