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Last Updated: Aug. 6, 2002
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Stranger, The



Stranger, The

A few months before I was born my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live to with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome 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 evenings. He was like a friend to the whole family; he took Dad, my brother, 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 mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up while the rest of us were enthralled with on of his stories--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 obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example was not allowed in our house--not form us, form our friends, or from 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 if life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigar manly, and pipes distinguished.

He talked freely about sex. his comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of relationships were influenced by the stranger.

As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time, he opposed the values of our parents, yet he was seldom rebuked and he was never asked to leave. more than forty years later passed since the stranger moved in with us, but if I were to walk into my parents home today, I would still see him sitting there waiting for someone to listen to his stories and watch in draw his picture. his name?...We always called him...TV.

Author Unknown