by Buzz Dahlen
I know that you have heard the rumors and that word is getting around. I think it is time to set the record straight.
It amazing what people will talk about. It is amazing what interests a person. I suppose it can be a lot like what causes us to slow down as we pass a car wreck. Sure, we say that we are just driving at a safe speed, but the truth is, we are gawking at the misfortune of someone else. Everyone likes to share a good story because every likes to hear a good story. No one really cares if the story is true or not and they certainly do not care if you choose to add a little to it.
It is also amazing to me where these stories are being told. It is no surprise to hear someone talking about “it” over a meal, in anyone of our fine restaurants; Even less surprising to hear someone rehashing the story over a cold one, in one of our local bars. But you know that people are talking about this, if not during mass, out in the parking lot. People are going to talk; it is a part of our nature. Changing the story a bit or even making up lies though is just crossing the line. That’s why I think it is important to tell you what really happened.
I know it was not the smartest thing that I have ever done. I had reservations right from the beginning. I know that when I faced some of the challenges I should have told myself, right then and there, “do not do this. It will cause a lot of pain.” But you know how it is, you tell yourself that you will be able to get through it and nobody will really care. I still know that I should have not done it…
But someone tells you, “Trust me.” And so you do and before you know it, you find that you are committed to it and you can get out of it. There is also the excuse that you tell yourself, “I’ve come too far now, there is no turning back, besides, maybe this must be God’s will.” You tell yourself all sorts of things in order to justify what you are doing.
Then somebody sees you. Now what are you going to do? How are you going to cover this one up? Then you get into the pattern of deception. Or maybe it is denial. If I tell myself enough times I can convince myself that it didn’t really happen.
But it’s time to come clean, to confess to that which I know to be true. Although my intentions were right, it didn’t work out the way that I thought it was going to. There was a lot of pain and you never know how permanent the effects of your decisions and actions are going to be. The pain is the worse thing, or maybe the public humiliation. Especially because the story is told over and over again and each time it gets a little further and further away from the truth.
So, as I said, it is time to set the record straight. I want everyone to know the truth about what I have done. I what to be honest and for those who might be offended by my actions, I want to ask your forgiveness. I want to be able to go on with life and put this painful and embarrassing act behind me. I want to be able to let the pain subside and any wounds heal. That is what I want to do…
I don’t know exactly what version of the story you have heard, but I want you to know the real story. I want you to know what really happened, so that then, hopefully, you will not have to talk about it again. Nothing really good comes from spreading rumors, even if you think that what you are saying is true. I know that there is a sense of power when you are able to talk about someone else and tell something about them that is negative.
Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Like I said, it is time to set the record straight, but I have run out of room in this column so I will have to let you all know the truth in the next pastor’s pen. In the mean time, consider what Paul wrote.