A mom told me a story about a time she was standing in a long checkout line with her two boys. One was a toddler, and the other was a big kid. The big kid had a pack of glow sticks, and the toddler was screaming for one. The mother was exasperated. She grabbed the bag of glow sticks, opened it up, and gave one to the toddler.
Instantly he stopped crying. He stood there with the glow stick, smiling. Just tickled. Then his big brother took the glow stick from him, and he started crying again. Just as the mom was about to lay into the big brother, he bent the glow stick so it started glowing.
Then he handed it back to his little brother, who was now amazed with it. The big brother told him, “I had to break it so it would glow.”
Sometimes God has to break us, so we can glow. That’s why he allows us to suffer. That toddler would have been content to play with his unbroken glow stick, because he had no idea how beautiful it could be. Similarly, we are content with the way things are. We don’t know why God has to break us. But God knows how beautiful we can be when we glow.
Brian Hickey, with PhillyVoice, reports on the strange case of a Mr. Black, who required two obituaries.
In the first obit, his “loving wife, Bearetta Harrison Black” gets top survivor billing. In the second, however, Bearetta is nowhere to be found, but “his long-tome (sic) girlfriend, Princess Hall” appears in her place.
A man answering the phone at Greenidge Funeral Homes told PhillyVoice that the obituaries were placed separately because "the wife wanted it one way, and the girlfriend wanted it another way." But he did not anticipate any problems because everybody knew it was happening.
Mr. Black had lived two separate lives, acknowledged in two separate obituaries. How about you? How many lives do you live? Do you present one persona to one group of friends and something quite different to another? If an honest report were given, would you require one obit or two?
“... Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).
China's ambassador to Zambia, Yang Youming, is attempting to stop a terrible rumor. What's the misinformation that has the ambassador so concerned? According to Adam Taylor with the Washington Post, it's that, "China was taking dead bodies, marinating them, putting them in cans and then selling them in African supermarkets."
Adam Taylor reports:
Some reports quoted people who allegedly worked in Chinese meat factories as saying that the practice had begun because China had run out of space to bury their dead or that Beijing reserved its good, nonhuman meat for more powerful countries.
Of course, the rumors are false. In fact, the photographs posted online of this "human flesh" were taken from a 2012 marketing stunt for the video-game Resident Evil 6.
Have you ever found yourself questioning whether a wild sounding rumor might be true? Why do the Zambian’s believe they're being served human flesh? Turns out, there was a violation of trust that took place long before the rumors began to fly. The Zambian’s mistrusted the Chinese because they had a reputation of allowing dangerous working conditions on their projects, which led to an explosion at a factory in 2005, killing more than 50 Zambian workers.
There is no sure way to avoid becoming a victim of unfair gossip, but maintaining a good reputation will help. When we have a good reputation, it undermines the credibility of any falsehoods that might arise.
"Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us" (1 Peter 2:12)