When it’s okay to break a secret

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Can you keep a secret?” she asked. “Sure!” was my quick reply, thinking I was going to hear something light-hearted.

My friend then confided that she had been doing something inappropriate for several weeks. It wasn’t illegal, and it wasn’t hurting anyone, but I knew it was wrong . . . and so did she.

I immediately offered an alternative so she could stop what she was doing, but she adamantly declined.

We parted ways, and I felt the weight of an ethical dilemma sink like a boulder in the pit of my stomach.

If I broke her secret, I would betray her confidence and risk losing our fledgling friendship. Yet if I stayed silent, I would be part of a cover-up.

I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. Continue reading “When it’s okay to break a secret”

Loosening anger’s grip

Listen when I talk...I opened the email and immediately felt my temperature rise.  Someone had stirred up a situation I thought had been settled.

“Oh, that makes me angry!” I uttered out loud.  (To confess, my language was a little stronger than that.)

My irritation boiled the remainder of the day.  I craved the instant gratification of calling the person and unloading my feelings.  Equally as powerful, I fought the urge to run to a third-party to vent my frustration.

The voice of wisdom and experience whispered inside my head, “don’t do eitheryou’ll regret it later.”

Still battling these temptations, I went to bed smoldering, bypassing the counsel of Ephesians 4:26, which advises, “do not let the sun go down on your anger . . .” (NRSV) Continue reading “Loosening anger’s grip”

Valentine’s Day: survival and sensitivity tips

Like most holidays, Valentine’s Day can be fun for some people and painful for others.   If you’re in the midst of a budding romance or deeply in love with your soulmate of 30 years, it can be a sweet time of celebration.  But if your Valentine has never shown up, your marriage is strained, or you have lost your spouse to divorce or death, the day is a vivid reminder of what you’re missing.

If you’re in the latter category, here are a few pointers for surviving Valentine’s Day.  (You folks who are love-struck, don’t tune out, because some “sensitivity” tips for you will follow.)

Continue reading “Valentine’s Day: survival and sensitivity tips”

Is singleness a tragedy?

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I finally got the courage to approve the comment.  It was written in response to a post I published some time ago about feeling left behind in the marriage department. The reader incorrectly interpreted that I was making light of my struggle, and wrote, “Please don’t refer to heartfelt sadness as a ‘pity party.’ To leave this earth without marriage and family is a tragedy for too many people.”

While she missed the overall intention of the post, which was to celebrate how God helped me focus on the blessings in my life, what continued to gnaw at me was her statement that being single is a tragedy.

If what she wrote is true, then nearly half of the adult population in the United States [1] are living  tragic lives.

To put it more bluntly, it means my life is a tragedy! Continue reading “Is singleness a tragedy?”

Breaking my white bubble

A few weeks ago I was stuck behind a slow truck on my way to work.  When the truck finally turned off, the road opened up and I accelerated to make up a little time.  As I zoomed towards the railroad tracks, I glimpsed a police car out of the corner of my eye.  It was too late to slow down.  I knew I was busted.

Know-Your-Rights-Traffic-Stops-1-The-Leaf-Online[1]The patrol car’s lights began flashing the moment I whizzed by, and I dutifully pulled over to the shoulder. While the cruiser crept up behind me, I reached for my purse, preparing to pull out my driver’s license.  The officer approached my car and I rolled down my window.

The imposing man in blue bent over and said, “Oh, it’s you!”

“Hi,” I said sheepishly, recognizing him, too.  I knew the officer from when I had worked for the City several years earlier.

I reached for my driver’s license.  “Oh, put that away,” he said casually.  We chatted for a while and in what seemed like almost an afterthought, he said “and slow down.”

I drove off without a ticket, realizing I had been shown favor (he had said more than once that if an officer who didn’t know me had made the stop, I probably would have gotten a ticket.)

A few days later I was driving home from work and saw someone else stopped by a police car, not far from where I was pulled over.  It was a young black man, and two police officers were sitting in the patrol car behind him.

In light of recent national events, I couldn’t help but wonder—were both the driver and the officers on heightened alert and concerned for their safety? Continue reading “Breaking my white bubble”