Monday, August 02, 2004

Appearances are deceptive, trust your b***s*** meter: another Desert Christian story

I had a little adventure the end of last week. A parcel needed to get out, and the postal carrier isn't allowed to pick up parcels with stamps anymore, it might be a bomb. And I needed to go to the credit union and deposit some small checks. So I called a gentleman of the neighborhood who gives rides for short errands --- he'd helped my houseguest to bring groceries home once last month.

As I'm talking to him on the phone, suddenly my b***s*** detector starts going off. Now, I wasn't issued a particularly sensitive model by God; I tend to take folk at face value, for a long time. But _something_ was off, couldn't put a finger on it. He was just a little too sweet, and a tiny bit too curious about my banking errand. Didn't feel right. So I had him take the package, but found another way to take care of the banking and made him a polite excuse.

Good thing I did: I checked him out, turns out he's a bit of a lech with a history of ingratiating himself with lonely elders for their cash ..... thank you, Lord, for the b***s*** meter you gave me, that despite its low sensitivity, it does still work.

A desert story about one of the abbas and his b***s*** meter:

A monk of the Thebaid had received the gift of service from God so that he was able to provide all who came to him with what they needed. Now he happened to be giving alms one day in a village, and a woman wearing old clothes came towards him to receive something. Seeing that she was wearing old clothes, he opened his hand to give her a lot, but his hand closed, and he paid out only a little. Then a woman came to him wearing good clothes. Seeing her clothes, he sought to give her little, but his hand opened, and he gave away much. So he enquired concerning the two women, and they told him, "The one wearing good clothes belongs to the leading classes, and she has become poor; in memory of this she wears good clothes. But the other one wears old clothes so as to receive more.


Anonymous said...

I like the story about the monk. I've always been bothered by the (well-meaning) suggestion to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Unlike this monk, I don't think we can reliably distinguish one from the other. Although even at that, he didn't afflict anyone, he just gave one woman less.

Julie D. said...

That's a good one ... I always tell my girls that if something doesn't "feel" right then it isn't right. It took me a long time to learn to trust that instinct.