The Light of Life Magazine
A ministry of Christian writing

October 2010

Robert Clements

A man driving a car, stopped at a signal and waited as the woman in front of him, who was going through papers on her seat, didn't go when the signal turned green. The man in the car behind her started screaming and beating on his steering wheel.

A policeman tapped on his windshield and told him to step out. "You can't arrest me for shouting in my own car," the man said, as the cop asked for his licence and registration,and finally handed the papers back. The driver protested, "Why did you check my papers?" The policeman replied, "I was directly behind you at the light. I saw you screaming and beating your steering wheel, and I said to myself, 'That man is out of control. He's going to hurt someone!' Then I noticed the 'Jesus Saves', and ‘Prayer Changes Things' bumper stickers on your car, and I said to myself, that's not his car, he must have stolen it!"

His behaviour did not reflect his bumper stickers!

I spent a very pleasant evening the other day reading Khushwant Singh's Collected Short Stories. One story that left me pondering was, 'The Bottom Pincher.' The writer beautifully describes a scene at a Parsi Fire temple in Mumbai where he sees 'a thin tall gentleman, in his sixties, wearing a light blue suit, sola hat and thick post cataract glasses.' The gentleman walks through the stream of beggars near the temple and drops a coin in the hand of every beggar.

The gentleman then proceeds to walk in the direction of Khushwant Singh's office and Singh, fascinated by the man's charitable acts, follows him and is shocked to see what the Parsi gentleman does next: "He continues to dip in his right hand pocket and drops a coin into every outstretched hand. Then he notices that as he passes a group of three women bending over some article at a stall, his left hand purposely brushes one of them!"

"And so it went on. Right hand to give alms to the needy, left hand to stroke unguarded, unwary women! What a character!"

Yes, indeed what a character!

But think again: Do we see some resemblance of ourselves in the Parsi gentleman mentioned? Do you see a reflection of yourself in the man sitting behind the car at the red light, shouting and cursing the woman in front?

Most of us have religious stickers and plaques on our walls, cars and doors, but how often do we do things that do not reflect the kind of person we portray ourselves to the world. We go to church, and the world sees us pious and devoted, till, outside and down the road, our true self, thrusts itself out; ugly, filthy, dirty!

We think nobody's watching. But there's always some Khushwant Singh, a flustered policeman, maybe our children or friends, who watch, shudder and wonder what Jekyll and Hyde game we play.

Don't you think it's time your behaviour reflects the plaque on your wall?

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