Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Stranger




The Stranger
A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new
to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this
enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family.
The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me
into the world a few months later. As I grew up I never question his
place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries, and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold
our whole family spellbound for hours each evening.
He was like a friend to the whole family.
He took Dad, my brother, and me to our first major league baseball game.
He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements
to introduce us to several movie stars.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad did not seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up-while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of
faraway places-go to her room, read the Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.
Profanity, for example was not allowed in our house- not from us, from our friends, or from adults. Our long-time visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made my Dad squirm.
To my knowledge, neither of my parents ever confronted the stranger.
My dad did not permit alcohol in his home- not even for cooking.
But this stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.
He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.
He talked about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive,
and generally embarrassing.
I know now that the stranger influenced my early concepts of the man/ woman relationship. As I look back, I know it was because of the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time, he opposed the value of parents, yet my father seldom rebuked him and never ask him to leave.
More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with us. But if I were to walk into my parents home today, I would still see him sitting there waiting for someone to listen to his stories and watch him draw his pictures. His name????
Television
(author unknown)
That pretty much explains why we don't have a T.V.
Today television is even worse than it was 30 years ago. There is so much bad on there. Many of the advertisements are bad. I know that T.V would be a terrible influence on my children. Just like the author of this said "This stranger would bring all kinds of things into our home)

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