Tuesday, 13 August 2013

WAS I RIGHT REGARDING THIS MORAL DILEMMA?

Don't you just hate that when somebody manipulates you into doing something you don't feel good about doing? I've had that happen many times in my life. This doubtless happens because I'm too nice for my own good, especially when I was young.

Back in August of 1971, a new clothing store opened in my home town of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. To celebrate their opening, a local radio station did a remote broadcast. As part of the promotion, the store gave away free merchandise.

While this was going on, I sat in the basement bedroom that I shared with my sisters. Diane suddenly burst into the room. "Bruce, get on your bike and go to that store," she urged. "They're giving away a pair of size thirty pants."

"Why don't you go if you want them so much?" I said, annoyed at her importunity.

"Because they're guy pants," she said as if that was obvious to everybody. "I don't see why you can't go," she continued. "I bought you that Yellow Submarine album, remember? Why can't you do me a favour and get those pants for me?"

My mind filled with worries as I peddled as fast as I could to the shop. "What if they see the pants don't fit?" I fretted. "What if Diane doesn't like them or the legs are too short?" By the time I leaned my bike against the wall of the store, I felt as if I wouldn't be able to speak.

"Can I help you?" A man in a white shirt and black tie asked when I entered the shop. I screwed up what little courage I had left and asked if anybody had claimed the size thirty pants yet. When he said nobody had and gave me a pair to try on, I changed into them in the dressing room. They were tight on me but I sucked in my gut to make them look as if they fit.

Instead of changing back into my jeans, I wore the slacks home. All the while, I worried about them splitting. I worried that Diane would give me a tongue-lashing if that happened.

I also felt bad for implying that the pants were for me. I had given my life to Christ a few years earlier and felt as if I sinned. "Please forgive me for lying about the pants," I prayed as I peddled.

Fortunately for me, Diane liked the slacks and they fit her. The garment didn't split either. I also believe the Lord did forgive me. Even so, I felt bad about the whole situation.

I wrote extensively about my faith and how I became involved with a toxic house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.