A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting new comer, and soon invited him to live with our family.
The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later. As I grew up, I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it, but the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, my brother and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up (while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of far away places), go to her room, read her Bible and pray. I wonder now, if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.
You see, my Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house-not from us, from our friends, or from adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge, the stranger was never confronted.
My Dad was a tea-totaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home-not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.
He talked freely about boy-girl relationships. His comments were ally embarrassing. I know now that the stranger influenced my earliest concepts of the man/woman relationship.
As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God, that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked and asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with us, but if I were to walk into my parent’s home today. I would still see him sitting there waiting for someone to listen to his stories and watch him draw his pictures.
We always just called him………..TV
I am sorry that I haven't posted our testimony yet. I have just been so busy that I haven't had time to write it out, since this was already in the computer it was easy :)