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Why is it that whenever I try to help someone it never really works out? Only my psychoanalyst knows for sure.
In best of spirits, I crossed street and approached steps leading up to porch where Andy, young chap, struggled to ring elusive doorbell.
"Hello, Andy," I yelled as I took that first step, which I soon learned actually was first step toward trouble. Andy looked at me and sheepishly grinned. Anyone who knows anything about little boys knows this means trouble.
At that point, I remembered reading about a man who had a practical philosophy concerning little boys. "Whenever you meet a young boy on street," he exhorted, "always stop and give that young man a good thrashing." He went on to explain this extreme action. "The young man in question has either come from some trouble, or is going to some trouble. In either case, he needs it."
I must admit that I have come close, not quite, to embracing this philosophy. Andy fit this description perfectly. If Andy survived any day without getting into trouble, it was not from any effort on his part.
Alas, at time of incident, I did not posses such knowledge. Instead, I walked right into trouble.
"Let me help you, Andy," I offered.
"Preacher, I can't reach door bell."
"No problem," I assured him in all my innocence. "I'll get it for you."
With a St. Francis of Assisi grin, I vigorously rang doorbell n not once, but several times.
Looking at Andy, who at this time had a smile racing all over his freckled face, I naively said to him, "Now what, Andy?"
"Now, preacher," Andy screamed with delight as he leaped off porch, "we run like crazy."
At next church council, I had a difficult time convincing everyone that I was not notorious doorbell ringer who had been plaguing community for weeks. Convincing any of my innocence with good old sister Brandywhine, whose doorbell I enthusiastically rang, proved hopeless.
Nobody ever quite believed my innocence, and who wants to hide behind a little boy? From then on little Andy always greeted me with biggest grin possible for a little lad.
Eating crow has spiritual dimensions to anyone willing to pursue issue. Sometimes it is better to be wrongfully accused and keep peace than to demand innocence.
Jesus made this point when he said, "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him other also." (Matthew 5:39 KJV.)
It was then that I learned eating crow is better than cackling like a chicken.
REv. James L. Snyder is an award winning author and popular columnist living with his wife Martha in Ocala, FL.