Confessing … June 27th, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2616)

VIII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

I. D. I.

It is an acronym. It stands for “I Deserve It.”

All the sin and stupidity of mankind throughout the centuries have been fostered by that assertion.

Why do we get so confused?

  • No human deserves hell.
  • Nor does any human deserve heaven.
  • So God gave us Earth, which is neither.

It’s just the place where we are supposed to sort through who we really are and cease to insist on propagating and promoting what we think we deserve.

When I was fifteen years old, my brother asked me to babysit his children. I didn’t want to do it. Why? Because I was fifteen years old–did I tell you that?

I didn’t want to do anything. I was even stalled about pursuing what I thought I wanted to do because it seemed like too much of a commitment.

But my dear brother and his lovely bride promised to compensate me financially.

I didn’t have any money. Oh, occasionally I would get offered some finance from my parents if I owed something at school or if there was a special something-or-other coming up.

So the potential of actually holding some funds in my hands made me willing to become a caretaker for nephews and niece.

My brother and his wife had started a business, and they were doing well. Looking back, I realize that they were only in their late twenties or early thirties, and considering their age, they were prosperous.

When I arrived at their home to watch their children and they left to go out on their date, I discovered, in their makeshift office, a tackle box which was open and had lots of coinage and some paper money sticking out.

Being a good Christian boy, I immediately left the room and tried to forget about the temptation a mere fifteen feet away.

But I wanted that money. I became obsessed.

After a while I gave in. I took out six quarters. It seemed like a lot to me at the time, but I thought they might not miss it considering the makeup of the cash in the box.

After that I agreed to babysit frequently, and each time I took out money from their little treasure chest–a little more each and every visit. But I never touched the paper money–until one night I saw two one dollar bills lying on the desk, separate from the other provision.

I took them.

I don’t know whether my brother and sister-in-law ever knew of my pilfering or not. But I realized after a while that I could not go to their house without stealing, so I avoided their invitations.

I was incapable of escaping my I. D. I.

My sense of “I Deserve It” pushed me to do things that I would have insisted, in my Sunday School class, were evil and unacceptable.

I learned that day that as long as we believe I. D. I. and feel cheated when we don’t have it, we will do anything if the opportunity arises.

As I look at my life today, I realize that I am no less a thief. I have just taken my I. D. I. and killed it off daily, mocking it for its selfishness and isolating it for its lack of integrity.

Am I capable of lying and stealing? Absolutely. It is not beyond my scope.

That is why I must take the sensation that “I Deserve It”… and nail it to a cross.

 

Confessing tackle box

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Untotaled: Stepping 63 (October 18th, 1970) Three… April 18, 2015

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2564)

(Transcript)

Jane, Mike and Diane.

Three people.

Please remember their names. I will get back to them shortly.

Leaving Buffalo, Dollie and I had much to talk about on our way to Ohio. We had decided not to abort our child, but that particular determination did not take away the problem we were facing upon our return.

How do you tell people who are already disapproving of your relationship that you’ve lied to them about a pregnancy, and that the baby is due in about 3 months?

We tried to be mature.

It was very difficult.

We wanted to pretend a little longer, hoping we could gain some acceptance, and then spring it on people at the last moment.

But we decided that the parents needed to know, and that we would let it flow from there.

We tried to get hold of Dollie’s parents but they refused to take the call. So we wrote them a letter, explaining that Dollie was pregnant.

When we sat down with my mother, she shook her head, whimpered a little bit, and then told us that “she figured there must be something like that going on.”

We then told the pastor and his wife, and once those floodgates were open, we tried to inform everybody we knew as quickly as possible–before it became the grist for the gossip mill.

It didn’t take long.

Within 4 days everyone in the community was aware that we were in the process of having a baby out-of-wedlock. (It didn’t seem to matter that we were now married and were trying to make the best of the situation.)

The general consensus was that “they already knew,” they wished us well, and they were pretty well certain that our relationship was doomed.

There were three folks who stepped out of the pack, and to this day I remember their courage.

Jane was a friend from school who decided to come over and give her support to us. I don’t know why.

Mike, one of the guys who used to be in my singing group, continued to talk to me at church, sing with me from time to time, and never gave up on our closeness.

And Diane, my sister-in-law, stepped in the gap and let Dollie know about a doctor to visit, who would help her through the final 3 months of the pregnancy and the birth.

They were shining lights in the presence of dimness.

I would never want to portray that the people of our community were mean, nor that they were wrong in their assessment of our situation. It’s just that their form of evaluation left us out in the cold, without the warmth we needed to find our escape from the iceberg we had created.

It was a lonely week. I shall never forget it.

It often comes to my mind whenever I am encouraged by others to alienate individuals who may have fallen from grace. Reminding errant souls of their sin is similar to going to a dermatologist for treatment for your acne, and having him repulsed by your complexion.

We needed more than mercy–we needed some human tenderness.

Had it not been for those three souls who stepped in the gap to be grace to us, we might have turned completely sour, never to return to faith again.

From that point on, I wanted to make sure that I always found myself as part of the “chosen three.”

 

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