Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Stranger

A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was
new to our town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with
this enchanting newcomer 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, Bill
and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always
encouraging us to see the 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 faraway 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 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 teetotaler 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 (much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes
blatant, sometimes suggestive and generally embarrassing. I
know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relationship
were influenced by the stranger.

As I look back, I believe it was because of 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
never asked to leave.

More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in
with the young family on Morningside Drive. But if I were to
walk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting
over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and
watch him draw his pictures.

His name?

We always just called him TV.

~Author Unknown~

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nowadays, the nickname "stranger" can be applied to lots of communication channels as we get exposed to involuntary. Beside TV, I can name many others such as: Billboard, Internet, flyers... However I believe that Internet is one of the communication channels that we should stop and assess objectively... yes it's true that Internet facilitated our life in many issues but we should not forget that it is the only communication channel on which censor is not applicable... Nowadays, TV is a saint if we want to compare it with the Internet... I'm not saying that it has no flaws but at least it still can be censured... As for the Internet, I wonder what our children are getting exposed to with the huge amounts of abnormal and immoral websites... it is not only this... chatting can also be harmful in a way or another... I must admit that Internet has lots of benefits and is a big source of knowledge, but it is up to us to know how to use this knowledge...
TV is becoming "the old ways" but still is a part of our life and society... while the Internet is intruding in our life and messing it up...
Hey... I appreciate the internet and I’m a "big" user of it... but “Stranger” is a weak word to use for it… I believe “crasher” suits it better…
Poor TV, in few years the Internet invasion will blow it, and this “stranger” will never be missed and be forgotten… so, for all the duty years, I salute you “stranger”…