Pornography, once a secretive backdoor industry, is now out in the open. The easy access and anonymity of the Internet have turned it into a multibillion-dollar-a-year “business.” But it leaves a trail of broken families, ineffective Christian leaders, and men who have lost the respect of their loved ones.
For almost 100 years, a huge piece of flawed Carrara marble lay in the courtyard of a cathedral in Florence, Italy. Then, in 1501, a young sculptor was asked to do something with it. He measured the block and noted its imperfections. In his mind, he envisioned a young shepherd boy.
A man went to his pastor for counseling. In his hands were pages of complaints against his wife. After hours of uninterrupted listening, the pastor couldn’t help but ask, “If she is that bad, why did you marry her?” Immediately the man shot back, “She wasn’t like this at first!” The pastor, unable to hold back his thoughts, asked, “So, are you saying that she is like this because she’s been married to you?”
Ask the friends and families of six people buried in a collapsed subway tunnel about complete honesty. Their loved ones’ rescue was delayed for hours when the contractor didn’t report the disaster to the authorities immediately. Instead, the company sealed the site and confiscated cell phones. It wasn’t an outright lie, but it was a cover-up. This dishonest act showed disregard for life.
In Cantonese, a Chinese dialect, the word for wait sounds like the word for class. Making a pun on this word, some senior folks in Hong Kong identify themselves as “third-class citizens,” which also means “people of three waits.” They wait for their children to return home from work late at night. They wait for the morning sun to dispel their sleepless nights. And with a sigh of resignation, they wait for death.
A story was told of a wealthy man who felt his son needed to learn gratefulness. So he sent him to stay with a poor farmer’s family. After one month, the son returned. The father asked, “Now don’t you appreciate what we have?” The boy thought for a moment and said, “The family I stayed with is better off. With what they’ve planted, they enjoy meals together. And they always seem to have time for one another.”
Zookeepers who must handle snakes will tell you that you should never grab one by its tail. It can coil around in a split second and sink its fangs into your hand. The right way is to control it by its head. (Please don’t try this at home!)