Apr 1 2012

Lustin’ for a bustin’

Remember back in the old days when gullible people would email you ridiculous urban legends without checking the facts? You know the ones I mean: out of context photo with plenty of JPEG compression artifacts, inaccurate descriptions, poor spelling, lots of all caps and exclamation points, and a story that just seems a wee bit too pat. I have created an example for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure:


The great thing about email is that it was easy to quietly inform the sender about the error without calling them out in front of everyone.

But now everyone posts this junk on Facebook, and there’s no easy way to politely inform them that they are 1) believing and 2) spreading lies, or at best, half-truths. Plus, it’s made worse by the fact that I almost never post on Facebook, and almost never comment, either, so it will look like I just troll around waiting for someone to post something stupid.

I don’t. I like seeing the joys of my friends and acquaintances, I like knowing what they are struggling with so that I can better pray for them. Despite all the cheezy ads and game requests, Facebook really has made it easier for the most part to keep in touch with people–even if I rarely interact with them. Kind of like me in real life, I guess.

Anyway, the current legend going around shows a severely debrided foot and claims to be the result of some poor unnamed shmoe having stepped on a broken fluorescent lightbulb and had to get “mercury powder” flushed out for several months, and this is the kind of mortal danger the government wants to force you to have in your home and that’s why we stock up on incandescent bulbs that convert 95% of their energy into heat instead of light God bless America.

I want to show the kindness of releasing people from deceit, but I also want to show the kindness of, you know, simple kindness. That really is the challenge of Ephesians 4:15, “…speaking the truth in love….” Telling the truth is alone is setting the bar pretty low; you could probably swing a dead cat and hit a dozen people who use honesty as an excuse for malice.

But to be honest and kind–that’s takes a bit of effort.

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Jan 15 2010

The Truth

A few years ago my daughter, Ally, who was seven at the time, came back to my office.

“Dad, I want you to tell me the truth,” she said seriously.

It’s always scary when one of your kids says that.

“OK,” I said.

“There’s no Santa Claus, is there?”

I took a deep breath and told the truth.

“Nope.”

“There’s no Easter Bunny either, is there? Tell me the truth.”

“Nope.”

Of course then I had to explain everything, and I asked her not to spoil it for all the other kids. As far as I know she never did. A year later she and I overheard someone asking their small child if she was excited about Santa coming. Ally looked at me and gave me a knowing smile and a cheezy wink.

——||——

A couple of weeks ago my friend’s four year old daughter came home from preschool.

“My teacher said there’s no Santa Claus,” she said.

My friend shifted uncomfortably, hoping to avoid the imminent conversation.

Then his daughter said, with an air of finality:

“She’s not going to get any presents!”

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