Scott Berkun‘s Dailypost WordPress challenge on September 25, 2011 was: Would you rather laugh with the sinners, or cry with the saints?
I breezed quickly over some comments and I was not inspired or engaged. Somehow, this evening, on my way home from work, the question crept up and took over my passive appreciation of Pink’s plaintive belting on 97.3.
I had a strange compulsion to trash both terms, Sinner and Saint. But, by the time I was climbing up the hill towards my sanctuary of a home, I decided to illustrate my thoughts on the matter by telling this true story:
Back in the late 90’s, we had a nanny/housekeeper who was from the Philippines. I came home one night from having attended to an emergency at the hospital, to find her still up in the kitchen. She seemed engrossed. She said she had been talking to some relatives back home. There was a lot of buzz over a recent scandal that involved her town.
There was a young couple in the neighborhood who were known to many locals. They were the children of some well-respected families. The two were childhood sweethearts and were both attending university. One day, they disappeared. No one heard from them nor seen them. The parents were distraught. The police were called. But nothing happened.
The town had a popular mayor, who had been elected and repeatedly re-elected for several terms. He was known to be a staunch supporter and benefactor of the parish church. He donated regularly and freely. He was also seen attending mass everyday. He would kneel at the door of the church and pray his rosary walking on his knees until he reached the front of the altar. People were in awe of his reverence to the Deity.
The parents of the missing pair became increasingly distressed by the lack of information from the authorities. As in any small rural town, it’s not always easy to keep secrets. Word got around that foul play had befallen the two. The mayor had taken an interest in the young lass. Her fiance tried to defend her honor and this cost him his life. She was entertainment to the mayor until he tired of her, whereby, she was handed over to his goons.
The parents pieced together whatever bits of reliable information they could gather. They went to Manila to seek assistance. A friend of a friend of a friend introduced them to someone involved with Amnesty International. And so, the probing and hunting began. It culminated in the exposure of this incumbent mayor.
It turns out this mayor had an entire network of unsavory activities: extortion, trafficking, kidnapping and raping, and murder. Needless to say, he had the local police, the judge and the parish priest in his payroll. As the investigations exposed the underbelly of his network, about 40 bodies were excavated from an empty piece of land (guess who owned it!) used as a mass grave. There lay the decaying bodies of the star-crossed lovers (Is this how they say it?)
And so, here’s my question: Sinner or Saint? In whose eyes? From whose perspective?
A lot of times, what seems is not always what is.
- Reflections: Entertaining Saints & Sinners… (eof737.wordpress.com)
- S&s (bridgesburning.wordpress.com)
- Would you rather laugh with the sinners or cry with the saints? (laurieanichols.wordpress.com)
- Only The Good Die Young (blogblahblahdotorg.wordpress.com)