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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Accidental Message

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[February 19, 2009]- My mother-in-law called. She was laughing. “For the last twenty minutes I’ve been listening to the message you left on my answering machine,” she said. I had to agree that it was a funny message that my wife had left. I was sitting right beside her when she made the call. The funniest part about it, I thought, was that my wife couldn’t stop laughing as she left the recording on the voice mail. It was one of those times when you say something and realize how ridiculous it must sound and you laugh at yourself and you can’t stop as silliness feeds silliness. But for my mother-in-law to listen to that brief message over and over for twenty minutes? Wow. I wasn’t sure it was that entertaining, but then again, I wasn’t on the receiving end.

HardwareTurns out my mother-in-law wasn’t laughing at a 45 second message. Our cordless handset hadn’t succeeded in telling the base to end the call and so we accidentally produced an extended audio recording of our home life. Oh no! What had we said? What did she hear? I instantly felt exposed. Had she caught me lecturing my teenage son? Was I short with my wife about something? Did I utter some thoughtless complaint? Had I said something negative about my parents or parents-in-law? (Not that I ever do any of those things, mind you – but, just in case I had – my brain was frantically doing the instant replay of the last hour of my life.) And then I remembered. Soon after the phone message should have ended, I had picked up a book and was quietly reading and then I took a short nap – pretty benign stuff. I hesitantly concluded that I had squeaked by and that other members of my family had entertained my mother-in-law – at least I hoped so.


Several years ago I was at a party. I had struck up a conversation with a stranger, asked him what he did for a living, how long he lived in the area – that sort of thing. After freely answering all my questions he returned the favor and asked what I did for a living. As soon as the words came out of my mouth I could see the panic in his eyes. Unknowingly he had been talking with a “minister.” Oh no! What had he just told me? Did he include some off-color remark? Had he thrown in some four-letter word or spoken some irreligious thing? Had he exposed himself? Now, years later, I understood what that poor fellow had gone through.

Nursing Homes

I’m a transparent guy. I tend to be fairly vulnerable. Right now I’m sharing my thoughts for everyone to see. Right? Not exactly! I’m in control of what I choose to share. The thought of being the star of “The Truman Show” or having a camera constantly on me as a member of the “Jon and Kate plus 8” family – No Thanks! And yet, the “reality” is…

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Heb 4:13 (NIV)

“There’s a Father up above and he’s looking down in love. So be careful…” He is listening in. He is watching. Does that comfort us

[Text from file received by Ron Denligner]


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