I almost did the Pharisee prayer last night.
Oh, you don’t know that story? Here it is:
Luke 18: 10-13
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayeda thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
Yeah, well at the time I was sorta thinking I was justified. What’s this about?
Well, I was thanking God that I was not a shallow, confused, insecure little bitch who had to go around ruining other people’s reputation in order to feel good about myself. I was also thanking God for making it possible for me to be raised by people who encouraged critical thinking, analysis of situations and calm personal examination.
I know someone, an acquaintance, who goes around telling one person about the other, waiting for your response and then taking it back to the other person, and coming back for reruns. I was not in the loop, mainly because I am so difficult to get along with that I have virtually no friends in that clique. But perhaps more to the point is the fact that I find it hard to discuss other people’s personal issues and choices in a malicious or judgmental way.
I grew up in a small town. And I was ‘different’. So you can imagine the many times the town’s house wives would get together to wag their tongues about me.
In my lifetime,
– I have been so hungry for sex, completely promiscous, and totally irresponsible that I would go down to the beach to play soccer with the boys just so I could hook up with them when the sun set down; without protection
-I have been HIV+ and almost died from AIDS twice.
-I have procured numerous abortions, and I think twice gave birth to a chotara kid.
-I have used all the recreational drugs ever made by man.
-I strung two brothers along in a love triangle for months and neither of them ever knew about until I left them both for another guy.
-oh, yeah, this one I almost forgot (no, I didn’t): I faked having to live with SLE and occasionally pull out severe flares so that I can manipulate the people in my life.
I tell you, I am a horrid person so you best stay as far away from me as you can. In fact, I should have a disclaimer posted to my forehead so, you know, unsuspecting little idiots who are fooled by my big yellow heart can run the hell away.
If you’ve lived in a small town, or small community, you know just how wild the tales can get once they are started.Generally, the people spreading those stories don’t even care what effect it might have on the person being talked about. And a lot of the times, the gossip-spreaders would swear by the bible that what they are saying is true; as long as the one being talked about is absent.
So here I was, listening to 2 blood sisters fight about what so and so told them the other had said. And I’m thinking ‘Man, am I glad I’m not a girl!’
Oh, wait, I am a girl, woman, female… I am. And I love being a girl, woman, female… Most of the time. Well, all times except when I find myself wearing those painful to bear high heels. But I defy the stereotype of the ‘woman gossiper’, and I am naturally drawn to people who feel the way I do about malicious gossip and slander.
But more importantly, I am thankful that the times I have received gossip, malicious or not, I have known to take it as gossip and not absolute fact, even when there is a grain of truth in it. Further, I am thankful that I know not to let someone who might not care about me at all, find it easy to come between me and the people I have chosen to love.