Thursday, June 29, 2006

Breaking the third commandment

I was waiting for a bus downtown. A young man asked me if I knew when the 21 express or the 24 was coming. An 11 was sitting right there but he didn't want to take it because it was too crowded. He said he just couldn't stand on the bus. He repeated these facts a few times.

I began to suspect that he was a little unusual.

He continued: "I just can't stand on the bus, because when I lose my balance, I lose my temper and I take the Saviour's name in vain."

I nodded understandingly.

Then he said: "Not that it would matter, not that it matters, because I'm not a devout Christian. I'm not a devout Christian." He went on to say this a few more times.

I nodded again, sympathetically.

Meanwhile, of course, I was thinking "If you're not a devout Christian, why would it even occur to you that you were 'taking the Saviour's name in vain?' Did your mother tell you that? What's the story behind this?!" I said nothing.

We made some chit-chat about buses, and the weather, and where he was headed. Then he got on the 21 and left.

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