Peccable: The Parking Lot of Shame

Photo by Ruffa Jane Reyes on Unsplash

Weird Words and Why They Matter

As is typical for us, my husband and I hop in the car at 10:56 for a ten-minute drive to an 11:00 a.m. church service. After making the final turn into church, we take our place in The Parking Lot of Shame.

Officially called “Overflow Parking,” The Parking Lot of Shame is a small side-lot that is home to late-comers like us. I often feel our arrival should trigger the “wrong answer” sound from Family Feud.

We have no excuse. Like all humans, we’re peccable.

The Word

Peccable [pek-uh-buh l] means “liable to sin or error.[1]” Personally, I appreciate any word whose meaning is readily understood if you know a little Spanish. This word comes from the Medieval Latin word peccābilis, and resembles its Spanish cousin pecado, which means “sin.” In my head, I pronounce it as I would in Spanish [pek-ah-ble].

Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

Why It Matters

From a young age, humans learn to hide sin. The toddler pulls down the Christmas ornaments as soon as Mom turns her back; the child sneaks into the bathroom with a black sharpie; the teenager pops breath mints to cover the smell of alcohol. This tendency doesn’t end with adulthood. Evidence A: Me.

As I wrote before, my husband and I are introverts. We perfected the art of getting in and out of church with no human interaction. In that pursuit, we discovered a route that gives access to The Parking Lot of Shame without driving by the front doors. We sneak around the business behind the church building, pass through an alleyway, park, and enter church through the side door to avoid the greeters. Have I mentioned we’re introverts?

One fateful Sunday, my husband and I discovered the company behind our church built a fence that cut off our route. Without our secret back way, we must arrive in full view of the front doors.

Humans like to hide sin. The fence is God’s method for forcing us out of our comfort zones. It seems a silly thing, a couple posts and some wire, but it forced us to reflect on our habits. How often do we put sin in a closet, hiding it until it grows too big to fit?

Being an introvert is not a sin. Going to extreme measures to avoid community is. In part because of that fence, we joined a small group. A baby step, but at least it’s in the right direction. 


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[1] “Pecc | Definition of Pecc at Dictionary.Com.” http://www.dictionary.com. Accessed October 6, 2019. https://www.dictionary.com/misspelling?term=pecc.

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