I’m angry tonight.
I’ve been tricked.
All day, the ideas have been tumbling about in my head. No—even longer than that.
Days ago, the rough draft of this post was written on the soft gray matter of my brain. It was filed away for future use.
I intended to write an exposé.
You know—I am by nature a tattle-tale. I like to show where people go wrong and then use them as cautionary tales.
Phil Everly did it in his song from the last century, When Will I Be Loved. Why shouldn’t I?
I’ve been made blue.
I’ve been lied to.
When will I be loved?
I intended to tell about the customer who threatened legal action against my business last week. We mailed him a package which was delivered on time. The problem is, an elderly person at the customer’s house received the package and then put it where it couldn’t be seen, and she forgot about it.
Suddenly, I’m going to be reported to the Attorney General’s office?
I wanted to make this an exposé of how customers don’t stop to consider that there are actually people on the other end of that email or telephone. It’s not just a business, there are human beings who operate the business for your benefit, as well as for their vocation.
Nope. Not going to happen.
The rant is canceled, put off to another day due to new evidence come to light.
I was going to include a few choice words about the fellow who lied to me about a certain occurrence.
I was stunned and disappointed beyond belief. The man is one whom I have reason to trust completely. Yet, the lie was so intricate—so calculated. There was premeditation and planning that went into its telling.
I wanted to express my anger and frustration at the violation of my trust. That also is not how this essay will come across.
Mitigating circumstances have been brought out of the shadows. It seems the person who told the lie is not the villain I desired to make him out to be.
Believe me, I don’t want to change the focus of my writing. I am more frustrated by this shift in direction than one would believe. I had the evidence and my summation completely formulated, ready to put down on the empty page.
I actually pounded the desk in front of me when I realized the trap which had been sprung.
My tantrum is over now, my emotions mostly under control, with the possible exception of a tear or two and perhaps, a sniffle into a tissue.
It was almost as if I had heard a voice in the room. I’m not actually claiming to have heard the voice, just that it might have been.
Here. Hold this a minute, will you?
I took the shiny, round object which was shoved into my hand.
Very soon, I realized my mistake.
It wasn’t just me, standing there like an idiot, holding a mirror and looking back at myself. No, as I stared, the scene changed and I saw an angry—no strike that—a furious visage screaming into the telephone held in front of it.
I remembered the scene all too well.
The poor lady at the other end of the telephone had given me the only answer she was allowed to give by her manual of operations. She was paid to answer questions, but she had no latitude to change policy. It made no difference to me. Did she not realize who I was?
As I stood holding the mirror, I had a flash of near brilliance.
This was a human being!
I wasn’t screaming at a company; I was screaming my anger and threats at a fellow human being!
I wonder—was she a neighbor I was supposed to love? (Matthew 22:39)
Do you think she felt the presence of God while I was on the phone with her?
I shifted my gaze away from the scene, overcome with pain and guilt.
It didn’t matter; other scenes leapt out of the mirror at me. Again and again, I heard myself say things which are not true.
I was speaking to friends. I was answering a policeman at the side of the highway. I was explaining my failure to meet a deadline to a customer.
Lies. All lies.
I have told more lies than I could enumerate. I would be too ashamed to do so anyway.
I am a liar.
I wonder—is it still within my power to cast a stone at my friend who has shattered my trust? I hear the Teacher’s words as He wrote in the dirt. Let him who has never sinned cast the first one. (John 8:7)
The only one exposed here is the guy holding the mirror. The light I wanted to shine so brightly on the fault of others is merely shining full on my own sin.
I was tricked into it, but the truth blazes from the wall on which it was written. You have been weighed in the balance and found lacking. (Daniel 5:7)
I think it may be time for me to stop writing for today. I have some things to take care of.
I wonder though, before I go. . .
Hold this for a minute, will you?
For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror. For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets what sort of person he was.
(James 1:23,24 ~ NET)
An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.
(James A Michener ~ American author ~ 1907-1997)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2014, 2016. All Rights Reserved.