Ponderings with Doug – June 5, 2015

dougthumbA flight from Seattle to San Francisco was diverted to Sacramento. The flight attendant explains that, since there would be a delay, the passengers were permitted to get off of the plane and re-board fifty minutes later. All the passengers took advantage of the opportunity, except for one lady who was blind. She was accompanied by her Seeing Eye dog, who had lain quietly underneath the seat in front of her throughout the flight. It was obvious she was a frequent flyer because the pilot called her by her first name.

He asked, “Kathy, would you like to get off and stretch your legs?”

She replied, “No thanks, but maybe Buddy would like to stretch his.”

So, as he walked Buddy off the airplane, all the folks in the gate area came to a complete standstill. The pilot, wearing his sunglasses, was being led by a Seeing Eye dog.

Remember things are not what they appear to be.

For instance, if you walked into Toynbee Hall in the 1960’s you would notice a man who appeared to be a janitor. He scrubbed floors and toilets. His story is illuminating.

John Profumo, was the former Minister of War for Great Britain.

Profumo’s downfall began on the grounds of a grand English country estate where he watched a beautiful young woman emerge from a swimming pool. He asked who she was. He was told her name was Christine Keeler, a prominent English call girl. Profumo was so smitten with this young woman that he began a secret relationship with her. Unknown to him, however, she was also conducting an affair at the same time with the Soviet naval attaché in London  a member of the KGB. When the story finally broke and Profumo’s part in the whole affair was exposed, it became the most sensational sex scandal of the 1960s.

Profumo immediately resigned from the government. But curiously, he did not hit the talk show circuit. He did not contact Oprah to tell his side of the story. He did not sell his account to the National Enquirer. He did not seek a huge advance from Random House to spell out all the lurid details. In contrast to so many of today’s celebrities, he never sought public sympathy.

He understood how his recklessness had brought embarrassment to his wife and country and almost brought his government down. Not long afterward, he contacted Toynbee Hall, a charitable mission in the East End of London, and asked whether they needed any help. This blue blooded British aristocrat and long standing member of Parliament started scrubbing toilets and helping with the children’s playgroup. He would remain there for the next forty years. He disappeared amid the grimy tenements of east London and did good works till he died, and never again did he utter another public word. That was his way of achieving personal redemption for the public shame he had caused.

John Profumo took responsibility for his sin. He did not blame God. He did not blame society or his parents. He took responsibility. This is always the first step in dealing with any transgression. Call it what it is: Sin. Not a mistake. Not simply being human. It is sin. It is the worm in the human heart burrowing outward. Take responsibility for it.

We are so progressive and open minded we don’t have a mental construct of sin. Do you think this might explain all the crazy in our culture? Behind what makes news or appears to be the trending fad something dark is lurking.

Remember things aren’t always what they appear.