Sunday, December 12, 2004

What Lies Beneath?

How well do we really know some one else?
I may know my best friends favorite base ball team are the Toledo Mudhens or his favorite ice cream flavor is black liquorice, but do I really know him?

This week I was punched in the chest. Emotionally speaking.

I have a good buddy, a man that I had worked with, ministered with and enjoyed being around. A charismatic and energetic youth minister. Exceptionally brilliant. Wonderful debator, knows classical Greek and some Hebrew. Gifted musician, singer, husband and father of four. This guy is popular wherever he goes. I can honestly say at times I was quite envious of what seemed to be a buffet of talents, abilities and giftings handed to him freely from an overflowing silver platter by God. Not to mention the double chocolate cake wit and side of ice cream athletic ability on the side for good measure.

All that and everything I had ever experienced with him and knew about him was honesty and integrity .

All that was smashed like a feces coverd brick thrown through a beautiful stained glass window.

This Monday, the buddy of mine was arrested for inappropriate relations with one of his 17 year old female parishners.

I had been all over the world with this man. I had his family in my home. I've been in his home. We've shared hopes, dreams, disappointments together. I can say without regret of sounding cliche' that we'd suffered blood, sweat and tears for the good of man and to the glory of God.

All those who knew him and knew him well, shared the same punch in the chest that I experienced last week. How do things like that happen? What overcomes reason and pushes a man to tie a mill stone around EVERYTHING he knows as true and toss it overboard?
Is it an incrimental journey that he doesn't realize he's taking until he's a thousand miles away from home? Is it a sudden dark epiphany that causes a man to just say, "Screw it! I'm doing it anyway!"

The man has lost his job. Lost his reputation. More than likely lost his wife and family and probably be incarcerated for a while. For what?

There is an old saying. "But, by the grace of God, there go I." I never thought this man was beyond reproach, but I regarded him quite highly.
I'm disappointed, yes, but cannot judge him. When we start to think of ourselves too highly and think things like this will never happen to me, then we are setting ourselves up for quite a fall.

"But, by the grace of God, there go I"

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