When I was a teenager, a girl about my same age visited our church. I was excited because we didn’t get a lot of visitors, and since the church mission was “to spread the gospel,” I hoped we could help her “come to Jesus.” So, I wasn’t surprised when our minister approached me.
“Wayne, I want to talk to you about our guest,” he said. I knew he felt the same excitement I did, but then he continued by saying, “Do you think you could talk with her about the length of her skirt? It’s really short.”
I didn’t expect my Pastor to only mention the length of her skirt and nothing else. I certainly wasn’t interested in discussing her appearance from a negative point of view. My Pastor didn’t ask me to say how nice it was to have her visit. Nothing about hoping she would return and maybe bring her family or friends—just a concern over the length of her skirt.
I stood in disbelief, and I don’t recall if I agreed to speak with her, but chances are I nodded even though my heart wasn’t in it. But if I actually agreed to have the discussion the minister requested, I lied. I didn’t approach her about the subject. My heart knew he was wrong, so I simply befriended her and let it go.
Recovery is sometimes as simple as rewriting the script of the past. I believe the minister’s motives were misplaced. It may have been the first time I realized the minister was not the great and powerful Oz— but only a man. In his defense, he was a kind man and I learned a lot from his ministry. However; that was also the first time I understood the saying, “Take what you like and leave the rest.”
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